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August 27, 2014

Australia’s Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union will be investigated by the Human Rights Commission over allegations that its leaders systematically exclude LGBTI people from leadership positions

Australia’s biggest union will be investigated over allegations of systematic discrimination against its gay and lesbian members attaining leadership positions after allegations were made at a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

A witness at the Royal Commission recently accused the leadership of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA) of refusing to allow openly gay or lesbian people to become union shop stewards and openly gay Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has agreed to open an investigation into the union.

August 27, 2014

Freeheld will tell the true story of one couple's fight for pension benefits after one of them becomes terminally ill

Steve Carell is joining Julianne Moore and Ellen Page to star in a film based on a landmark gay rights case.

Freeheld, directed by Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist's Petter Sollet, will tell the true story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree.

The couple fought to amend the Domestic Partnership Act, which grants pension benefits to domestic partners of all New Jersey public employees.

The couple were determined to make a change, after Ardeen (played by Page) was denied pension benefits of her Hester (Moore) when the latter became terminally ill.

August 22, 2014

Deputy leader of Australia’s Northern Territory Dave Tollner will go to the back bench after he called a colleague’s gay son a ‘pillow biter’ and ‘shirt lifter’

The Deputy Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory has had to apologize after he called a fellow MP’s gay son a ‘pillow biter’ and ‘shirt lifter’ and he has now resigned after days of sustained criticism.

Country Liberal Party MP and territory Treasurer Dave Tollner defended allegations of homophobia by pointing out that his mother has been in a same-sex relationship for 27 years and that he has a gay nephew who’s relationship he supports.

August 22, 2014

Hallmark cards celebrating same-sex marriages have been pulled from the shelves of the Bringham Young University bookstore because it is owned by the Mormon church

A bookstore at Utah’s Bringham Young University has removed greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages from its shelves because they aren’t in line with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons.

The Hallmark card company has been quick to capitalize on moves to legalize same-sex marriages across the United States and produces a range of cards for same-sex couples and they reached the shelves of the university’s bookstore on Tuesday.

August 21, 2014

Evan Davies is tipped to win Journalist of the Year at the annual event held in London

New BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davies is expected to win big at the European Diversity Awards.

The gay journalist is among the many names hoping to win one of the coveted awards.

Jane Hill, a BBC newsreader, will host the awards on 2 October in London.

‘’The European Diversity Awards recognize the efforts of people and organisations who are building a society across Europe which embraces all citizens,’ she said.

‘I'm proud to be taking part and highlighting some of the excellent work that is being done to make a lasting difference.’

August 20, 2014

The Ark Encounters theme park will not be hiring gays and lesbians or anyone who thinks the world is more than 6,000 years old when it opens in 2016 despite seeking millions in tax incentives

A planned Noah’s Ark themed entertainment park that will teach that the Biblical Great Flood was an actual historical event will reportedly refuse to hire gays and lesbians and anyone who does not believe that the Bible is 100% literally true.

The Ark Encounters theme park is to be built by Creationist group Answers in Genesis, which already operates another Christian theme park in Kentucky that claims that human beings lived side-by-side with dinosaurs and denies the theory of evolution.

August 18, 2014

LGBTI African Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide and it’s time to start talking about why

When the first news reports of Robin Williams’ death hit the media, few questioned the report that one of the world’s most beloved comedians had committed suicide.

This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was found dead in his home after committing suicide with a firearm. Many African Americans believed Cornelius must have been murdered by an intruder, even after the official report.

August 14, 2014

The Williams Institute has crunched the numbers and is suggesting that legalizing same-sex marriage in the state would result in an additional $53.2 million in spending in the state – generating jobs and tax revenue

The University of Southern California Los Angeles’ Williams Institute has conducted a study on the economic benefits that legalizing same-sex marriage would have for the US state of Michigan, and has calculated there would be extra spending in the state to the tune of $53.2 million if it were to do so.

Researchers used census data and figures on post legalizing same-sex marriage spending booms in other states to arrive at that figure.

August 13, 2014

The ‘Turkish baths’ in Beirut saw a police raid after a tip-off they were a meeting place for gay sex. Men remain in custody awaiting charges

Police in Lebanon have raided a hammam – or ‘Turkish bathhouse’ – and arrested 27 men after a report it was a meeting place for gay sex.

The raid took place on 9 August and was carried out by the Internal Security Forces, or national police, of the Mediterranean country.

It took place at the privately-owned Agha Hammam baths in the Hamra-Concord area in Beirut.

August 10, 2014

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff says, 'Bigotry, in all its forms, is unacceptable in our community, and it certainly has no place in our school environment'

A school chaplain and youth outreach officer has been fired from his job after re-posting a comment on Facebook that said 'homosexuality is not normal' and 'no-one is born gay'.

Troy Williams, who works at Hobart College and is an employee of the Scripture Union, has since removed the post and issued an apology.

Scripture Union is Tasmania's main provider of school chaplaincy services which appoints and trains state and private school chaplains.

August 9, 2014

Opponents were able to find enough signatures to put a repeal measure on the ballot

On 7 August voters in Chattanooga, Tennessee repealed health benefits for the partners of same-sex city employees.

In 2013 November, the city council approved a bill offering LGBT public employee's non-discrimination protection and spousal benefits for those in civil partnerships. The vote was 5 to 3.

August 8, 2014

National Organization for Marriage president: Target 'insinuates' that people against gay marriage are 'akin to segregationists and racial bigots'

The National Organization for Marriage, the largest anti-gay organization in the US, is targeting one of the country's largest retailers with a boycott because of its support of gay marriage.

NOM President Brian Brown announced Thursday (7 August) a boycott against Target, a Minnesota-based chain with 2,000 stores nationwide.

The retailer this week signed on to an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage in pending cases in Wisconsin and Indiana.

August 8, 2014

A new study has found that gay friendliness pays a big part in Chinese LGBTI people’s purchasing choices, suggesting businesses who court them as customers will do well

The first ever China Pink Market Conference was held on Thursday in Shanghai and heard that LGBTI Chinese consumers vote with their feet when it comes to deciding which companies to do business with, with gay friendliness an important factor when it comes to choosing where to shop.

Market research company Community Marketing & Insights found that 53% of respondents in its First Annual China LGBT Community Survey indicated that ‘support [for] LGBT political causes and laws have the biggest impact on influencing their purchasing decisions.’

August 7, 2014

All nine members of the city council of the Washington city of Seattle have signed a letter urging the US Food and Drug Administration to end its lifetime ban on men who have sex with men giving blood

Seattle, Washington’s city councilors have unanimously backed the repeal of America’s ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood, signing a letter to federal Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Margaret Hamburg in which they urge the Government to screen out donors based on risky behavior rather than sexual orientation.

‘We join Seattle Mayor Edward Murray, the American Medical Association, and the Puget Sound Blood Center to ask you to lift the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men,’ the city councilors write in the letter dated 4 August.

August 6, 2014

San Francisco’s Tom Ammiano explains why he has drafted his ‘Modern Family Act’, and how it might benefit those – LGBT or heterosexual – who are already parents or planning for children in the future

Later this month, lawmakers in California are expected to vote on updating family laws in order to reflect the evolving nature and diversity of modern families.

Following the legalisation of gay marriage in California last year, and following some high-profile legal disputes involving parental rights, State Assembly member Tom Ammiano – a Democrat for the 17th District, San Francisco – has drafted what has been dubbed the ‘Modern Family Act’.

August 2, 2014

Critics of same-sex families may claim that having two moms or two dads goes against a child’s best interests, but yet another study had found this to not be the case

A new US study has concluded that, 'despite confronting heterosexism in a variety of social contexts – including the health care system, the legal system, and the school system – LGB parents and their children are functioning quite well.'

August 1, 2014

The law, which was overturned by the Constitutional Court moments ago, punished homosexuality with life in prison

Uganda has struck down one of the most draconian anti-gay laws in the world.

The law, which was overturned by the Constitutional Court moments ago (1 August), punished homosexuality with life in prison.

Petitioners called on the court to find that parliament passed the law without following proper procedure.

House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ignored a quorum call by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi when she moved the bill for a vote on 20 December. Without a quorum, the petitioners argue, the bill was not lawfully passed.

August 1, 2014

Hospitals in the country look likely to perform surrogacy services from 2015 – but under strict rules and regulations that prohibit gay couples from applying

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has announced plans for a small number of Vietnamese hospitals to perform surrogacy services – but for married heterosexual couples only. The policy echoes a recent clampdown by the Indian Government on its country’s surrogacy services – outlawing surrogacy for same-sex couples from India or abroad.

July 31, 2014

Boss fired language writer because he thought his article about homophones was about promoting homosexuality

A writer is speaking out about being fired for writing an article about homophones after his boss thought it could be linked to homosexuals.

Tim Torkildson, a former employee at the Nomen Global Language Center based in Utah, says he was removed from his role as head of social media because of the mistake.

His boss claimed his article, which explained homophones means words that sound the same but have different meanings (such as their and there), could give off the impression the school promoted homosexuality.

July 30, 2014

Game ranger course 'general' is on trial for murder, child abuse, neglect and allegedly forced teen to eat his own faeces

The man behind a South African ‘gay cure’ camp has insisted he is not the reason behind the death of a 15-year-old boy.

A picture of Raymond Buys, 15, taken in April 2011 showed a skeletal, emaciated figure fighting for his life.

Just 10 weeks before, the teen’s parents signed him up to the Echo Wild Game Rangers training course in South Africa in perfect health.

July 29, 2014

Claiming voter fraud, a gay rights group has published 50,000 signatures from people who opposed a bill protecting LGBTI people from workplace discrimination

A Texas LGBT group has published on the Internet the personal details of Texans who signed a petition against a recent LGBT anti-discrimination bill.

A group under the website HeroPetition.com, named after the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), published the 50,000 names and addresses of Texans who want to overturn an anti-discrimination ordinance via public vote in November elections.

July 29, 2014

The government of Sweden will give Uganda around $200 million in development aid over the next five years after it became one of the first countries to suspend or redirect aid to the country over the passage of its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Sweden has announced it will provide $200 million in aid to Uganda over the next five years to improve health care, with a focus on sexual health and human rights - despite being one of the first to withdraw aid over the Central African country’s passing a law punishing homosexuality with terms of up to life in prison.

July 26, 2014

Like the avalanche of decisions we’re seeing from every corner of this country, the court recognized that loving, committed same-sex couples should have equal access to the law’s protection'

Alaska's Supreme Court ruled yesterday, 25 July, that same-sex partners should have access to survivor benefits.

The ruling stems from the 2011 workplace murder of Kerry Fadely. She was employed by Anchorage’s Millennium Hotel when shot and killed by a disgruntled former employee.

July 26, 2014

The second biggest bank in Italy will give gay employees the same marital rights as straight employees, despite gay marriage being illegal in Italy

One of the biggest banks in Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo, will give their LGBTI employees the same marital benefits as their heterosexual colleagues.

Gay marriage is illegal in Italy, however, the bank will give marital benefits to gay and lesbian employees who have been married in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

‘The importance of the agreement serves to reinforce the group’s commitment to politics of non-discrimination and equal opportunity,’ said Intesa Sanpaolo.