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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 20, 2014

Plaintiff: 'Finally my family is equal in the eyes of the state I grew up and made my life in'

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin in South Carolina.

The high court denied a motion filed by South Carolina’s Attorney General for an emergency stay to further delay the issuing of licenses to same-sex couples.

A federal judge struck down the state's marriage ban last week in a case filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley.

November 20, 2014

Donations to the main group campaigning against same-sex marriage in America appear to be drying up as courts continue to rule in favor of the rights of same-sex couples across the United States

The most prominent group in America campaigning against the legalization of same-sex marriage appears to be in financial trouble, with its 2013 tax filing documents showing the organization is more than $2.5 million in debt.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) only managed to raise $5.1 million in 2013 with over half of that coming from just two big donors.

That figure was more than half what the organization received in 2012.

November 19, 2014

And the waiter was forced to leave after the manager refused to step in and do anything

A teenager is speaking out after he was called a homophobic slur on a restaurant receipt.

Blake Butler, 19, was a waiter at Kelley's Country Cookin' in Houston, Texas up until last week.

He was serving his tables and chatting to colleagues when a work friend showed him a note he got at the top of the receipt from two customers.

It read: 'Don't want to listen to a faggot through my whole meal'.

November 18, 2014

Raymond Burke was head of the Vatican's supreme court until last month

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said he would refuse communion to lawmakers who voted for gay marriage, as he did with pro-choice legislators in his native US.

The prelate made the comments on Saturday (15 November) at a Catholic conference on the family in Limerick, Ireland.

Burke refused to comment on his recent demotion and Ireland's upcoming referendum on gay marriage, but said he would have 'issues giving holy communion' to lawmakers who voted in favour of gay marriage.

November 18, 2014

Unless unlikely event that high court steps in, licenses to start being issued to same-sex couples on Thursday

Same-sex marriage in South Carolina came a step closer to reality on Tuesday (18 November) after the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied the state's motion for a stay.

Last week, a US District Court struck down the state's gay marriage ban and that set the stage for same-sex couples to begin getting married this week.

Unless the US Supreme Court intervenes, the marriages will begin at noon on Thursday (20 November).

November 18, 2014

For many in the Middle East, Turkey is a safe haven for LGBTI people. But the gay and trans population still faces great hatred and real danger

Turkey is a country conflicted when it comes to its LGBTI population.

On one hand, Turkey is the first country in the Muslim world to hold a Pride march. Now, 11 years on, 2014 Istanbul Pride is widely lauded. It surpassed last year’s LGBTQI pride attendance that drew nearly 100,000 revelers and onlookers.

It is the ‘go-to’ country for LGBTI Muslims fleeing other Islamic countries for their safety.

The country’s Supreme Court acknowledged in July that calling LGBTI citizens ‘perverts’ is hate speech.

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 16, 2014

A 26-year-old man has been charged in connection to the case

Stephen Patrick White, 46, has died on Saturday afternoon in a hospital from injuries after he was found beaten and burned in a Greensboro, North Carolina hotel room last weekend.

According to media reports, White, an army veteran, has had most of both arms amputated after he was severely burned in the incident last weekend when he went to the hotel with a man he met at a gay bar.

A 26-year-old man has as been charged in the crime.

November 15, 2014

Rep. Patricia Todd wants to name her bill 'Tim Cook Economic Development Act' which will ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation for state employees

Alabama's first openly gay lawmaker Rep. Patricia Todd has announced the 'Tim Cook Economic Development Act', a bill which will ban workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian state employees.

Cook, who came out publicly last month, is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to do so.

November 15, 2014

The victim, a war veteran, has had most of both arms amputated after he was severely burned

A 26-year-old North Carolina man has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill when he attacked his 46-year-old victim on early Sunday.

Stephen Patrick White, an army veteran, was found beaten in a Greensboro hotel room by police just after 4.30am after a hotel employee called to report a man screaming in the hotel, according to media reports.

November 15, 2014

In an interview with US talk show host Larry King, 2016 GOP candidate Ben Carson warns gays want to ‘redefine everything for anybody else’

One US conservative pundit is worried gay people are trying to ‘redefine’ everything by demanding marriage equality.

US neurosurgeon Ben Carson was being interviewed by TV chat show host Larry King about his stance on gay marriage, amongst other things.

‘Why isn’t same-sex marriage a civil rights issue?’ asks King.

‘For me, it’s not a big issue,’ replied Carson.

November 14, 2014

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights

The US has urged India end to discrimination against LGBTI people and said culture is no excuse for denying human rights.

Sarah Sewall, under-secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights at the US state department, made the comments yesterday (13 November) while delivering a lecture on human rights in New Delhi.

November 13, 2014

State's governor and attorney general vow to continue legal fight to uphold ban

Same-sex couples began getting married in the state of Kansas on Thursday (13 November).

The marriages began after the US Supreme Court lifted the emergency stay it had issued earlier in the week.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who along with Governor Sam Brownback has vowed to continue the legal fight against gay marriage, had maintained that marriages should only be allowed in the two counties where successful lawsuits were filed.

But marriages were taking place across the state throughout the day.

November 13, 2014

Julie Eldredge has been cut off from the two children after break-up

A woman who lost access to the two children she had been raising with her ex-partner after a bitter split will get her day in court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday (12 November) that Julie Eldredge is entitled to a hearing on her claim for parental rights and what is in the best interest of the children.

November 12, 2014

Stays decision for one week so no licenses will be issued to same-sex couples before then

A federal judge on Wednesday (12 November) struck down South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage saying it is unconstitutional.

US District Judge Richard Mark Gergel stayed his ruling for one week so no licenses can be issued to same-sex couples before then.

Gergel based his decision on a recent ruling by the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the striking down of a same-sex marriage ban in Virginia.

November 12, 2014

More than 70 per cent of the city's LGBTI employees are not out at work

Asia's first LGBTI workplace inclusion index was launched today at a diversity conference in Hong Kong.

Community Business, a not-profit focusing on corporate responsibility, invited companies operating in the city to make submissions for the index until the end of February next year.

‘With the call for changes in legislation and a more visible LGBT community, not just in Hong Kong but across Asia, attitudes are changing,' Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business, said in a statement.

November 11, 2014

High court grants emergency stay requested by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

Tuesday (11 November) was to mark the beginning of marriage equality in the state of Kansas.

But that won't be happening - at least for now - because US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has granted a request from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt for an emergency stay.

The stay applies to a recent ruling by a federal trial judge who struck down the Kansas gay marriage ban and ruled that the decision would go into effect Tuesday evening.

November 10, 2014

'Boom Clap' singer says she will never go back to Uganda

Charli XCX, whose Indian mother was born and raised Uganda, has vowed to never return over the anti-gay law.

The singer-songwriter, best known for her tracks Boom Clap, Fancy and I Love It, has said she used to go visit her mother's homeland in her youth. 

But she won't go back, due to the politicians and their homophobia.

'I have been to Uganda when I was younger. It was amazing, but I wouldn’t go there now because I am so anti a lot of the laws that have been passed there,' she told Metro. 

November 10, 2014

Kees van Baar, human rights ambassador for the Netherlands, wants to work with corporates to improve life for LGBTIs around world

The new human rights ambassador for the Netherlands wants to work with the world’s biggest firms to make the world a better place for LGBTI citizens.

In particular, Kees van Baar hopes to change cultures in countries where homosexuality is illegal, by encouraging big employers to promote diversity for gay, bi and trans employees.

He said it would be one of his aims during his time as the human rights ambassador, a four-year term which started two months ago.

November 10, 2014

Some are not happy that the family friendly brand is supporting Pride

Kellogg's is being criticized by anti-gay groups for using family friendly mascot Tony the Tiger in a pro-gay advert. 

The company sponsored Atlanta Pride, and put out an ad speaking out for respect of the LGBTI community and its employees. 

'At Kellogg, we're an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees' sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged,' the advert read. 

November 10, 2014

Transgender bride cannot change her gender on offical documents so the union is legal

Two women have become the first gay couple to register their marriage in Russia despite laws banning same-sex unions.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova arrived at a St Petersburg registry on Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carried bouquets.

The Family Code of Russia states that marriage is 'a voluntary consent of a man and a woman' but the couple found a loophole in the law.

Fursova is transgender and on hormone therapy and despite looking and living as a woman, she is unable to change her gender on legal documents.

November 10, 2014

Marchers were banned from dressing indecently, dancing and smoking in the conservative Indian city

About 300 LGBTI activists marched through India's eighth largest city for the fourth Pune pride, double last year's turnout.

'This time we are specifically looking at youngsters who are petrified of coming out in the open about their sexual orientation,' Bindumadhav Khire, president of organizers Samapathik Trust, told the Times of India.

'We want to help them in accepting their sexuality and being comfortable about it.'

November 8, 2014

Think that your sexuality has no bearing on your work? An LGBT business conference taking place in London today reminded those attending that honesty fosters stronger and more authentic business relationships

Although an increasing number of young LGBT people are confident enough to be out whilst at university or business school, it’s estimated that around 61% choose to go back into the closet when they enter the world of business.

In fact, a recent study by Deloitte concluded that 85% of LGBT employees chose not to be out to their work colleagues.