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January 5, 2015

The US rapper turned country music performer says the Rap-Rock genre he helped to pioneer ‘turned out to be pretty gay’ and not in a good way

US country music performer and rapper Kid Rock has struck out at ‘political correctness’ around the use of the word ‘gay’ as an insult in an article published over the weekend.

Kid Rock made the comments in a piece in The Guardian published yesterday, saying that the Rap-Rock crossover genre of the mid 90’s that he helped to pioneer had, in the end, become embarrassing.

December 26, 2014

Tweets that government must 'have courage to set policies based on science'

US Senator Elizabeth Warren is blasting The US Food and Drug Administration's proposal to lift its 31 year ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men as long as they abstain from sex for at least a year.

'The FDA must commit to building a bigger, safer blood supply through risk-based screening & have courage to set policies based on science,' the powerful senator from Massachusetts stated via Twitter.

December 16, 2014

She is among the 80 lawmakers demanding ban be replaced with a policy based on individual risk factors

A coalition of federal lawmakers called on the US government to end its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

The letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was led by the first openly gay US senator - Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin - as well as fellow Senate Democrats Tom Harkin of Iowa and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Barbara Lee of California and Mike Quigley of Illinois.

November 17, 2014

University of Massachusetts basketballer Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 in April and he scored 17 points for his team in his first game on Friday night

22-year-old University of Massachusetts basketballer Derrick Gordon has made an impressive start to his collegiate basketball career, scoring 17 points and being cheered by fans as he helped to take his team to victory in his first time on the court as a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 player.

Gordon became the first player in that division in April when he came out in an interview with ESPN, saying that he had been inspired to do so by Jason Collins who came out as gay before signing with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year.

November 15, 2014

'I went into it like a regular game. I've been here before, but it was good to see the support I had'

It was more than the start of a new season for Derrick Gordon.

Last night, 14 November, the University of Massachusetts shooting guard participated in his team's opening game, making him the first out gay player to compete in a Division 1 men's basketball.

This past April, Gordon came out in an ESPN interview.

'I went into it like a regular game,'  Gordon said after the game. 'I've been here before, but it was good to see the support I had.'

November 5, 2014

Maura Healey has been elected to be the next attorney general of the state of Massachusetts – making her the first openly gay or lesbian person in the United States to become an attorney general

Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey has made history this week, becoming the first gay or lesbian person in the United States to become an attorney general.

Healey was previously the state’s assistant attorney general to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and in 2013 announced she would run to replace her boss in 2014.

Healey was successful in a Democratic primary contest to be her party’s candidate for the job, comfortably defeating former Democratic state senator Warren Tolman by a margin of 62.4% to 37.6%.

November 5, 2014

Maura Healey has been elected to be the next attorney general of the state of Massachusetts – making her the first openly gay or lesbian person in the United States to become an attorney general

Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey has made history this week, becoming the first gay or lesbian person in the United States to become an attorney general.

Healey was previously the state’s assistant attorney general to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and in 2013 announced she would run to replace her boss in 2014.

Healey was successful in a Democratic primary contest to be her party’s candidate for the job, comfortably defeating former Democratic state senator Warren Tolman by a margin of 62.4% to 37.6%.

October 22, 2014

US District Judge Perez Gimenez writes that same-sex marriages raise the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages

A federal judge has upheld the ban against same-sex marriage in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

US District Judge Perez Gimenez stated in his ruling that same-sex marriage threatens 'the fundamental unit of the political order'  and also suggested it raises the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages.

He made the ruling in a lawsuit filed by Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Veleza.

September 27, 2014

A lesbian employee, who racked up medical bills of more than $100,000 for her wife's ovarian cancer treatment before Walmart’s same-sex partner health benefits came in effect this year, is seeking past damages for medical expenses and emotional distress

The US Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed a charge of discrimination on behalf of a Walmart employee in Swansea, Massachusetts who was denied spousal health insurance for her wife.

Jacqueline Cote’s wife, Diana Smithson is currently battling ovarian cancer, and between 2006 and 2012, Cote attempted to add Smithson to her insurance. However, when Cote entered her spouse’s gender as 'female,' Walmart’s online system would not proceed with the application.

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.

August 29, 2014

Reverend Irene Monroe reflects on how the LGBTI community saved a remote part of Massachusetts, allowing it to become the carnival hub it is today

The best week to be in Provincetown, Massachusetts is the week of Carnival. The parade is its signature extravaganza.

While many would contest that any week in P’town during the summer months is a carnival, the official date is always week 33—this year it was from August 16th - August 22nd.

The 2014 Carnival theme was 'Comic Book Capers', and what the theme evoked for revelers and tourists alike varied widely and wildly.

August 29, 2014

Reverend Irene Monroe reflects on how the LGBTI community saved a remote part of Massachusetts, allowing it to become the carnival hub it is today

The best week to be in Provincetown, Massachusetts is the week of Carnival. The parade is its signature extravaganza.

While many would contest that any week in P’town during the summer months is a carnival, the official date is always week 33—this year it was from August 16th - August 22nd.

The 2014 Carnival theme was 'Comic Book Capers', and what the theme evoked for revelers and tourists alike varied widely and wildly.

August 27, 2014

International Fund for Animal Welfare highlights their work with dolphins at LGBTI carnival in Provincetown

The summer Pride season has left millions of us with photos to share and happy memories to treasure.

And the team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are no different.

They were proud to join in Provincetown’s Carnival Pride Parade in Massachusetts, USA last week (21 August).

As the theme was Comicbook Capers, IFAW staff dressed as Justice League superheroes alongside their dolphin-decorated emergency response vehicle.

August 6, 2014

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio will rule on cases in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee

A three-judge panel of the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard oral arguments Wednesday (6 August) in six cases challenges gay marriage bans in four different states.

The judges will be deciding whether to uphold rulings by various federal judges in lower courts who ruled that the marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio are unconstitutional.

The Court heard the Michigan case first, followed by two Ohio cases, then two Kentucky cases, and finally the Tennessee case.

Rulings are not expected for a few more weeks.

August 5, 2014

Bid launched to ensure religiously-affiliated adoption agencies continue to receive US funding even if they refuse to deal with LGBT prospective parents

The Family Equality Council is the latest campaigning group to react with protest at the news that a US Federal Bill could create, what it calls, ‘adoption discrimination’.

July 23, 2014

Athletes will be asked if their sexuality causes problems before specialists are brought in to help them

British gay athletes are to get extra help to overcome the problems they face and win gold at the Olympics and other top contests.

It will start with top-level athletes meeting with LGBTI sports experts to find out if discrimination or keeping their sexuality secret is holding them back.

Then specialists will be brought in to solve the problems they face so they get picked to represent their country and perform their best.

July 18, 2014

After the major of Salem in the USA banned an anti-gay school from using the town hall, she was flooded with anti-LGBTI phone calls

The mayor of Salem has an answer to the anti-gay campaigners bombarding her with telephone calls.

For every person who calls to make offensive anti-LGBTI comments, she will donate $5 (€3.70) to the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (nAGLY).

Problems started for Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Massachusetts, US, when she learned about local Christian school, Gordon College, wanting the legal right to discriminate against gay applicants.

Her response – to end the school’s use of her town hall.

July 18, 2014

After the major of Salem in the USA banned an anti-gay school from using the town hall, she was flooded with anti-LGBTI phone calls

The mayor of Salem has an answer to the anti-gay campaigners bombarding her with telephone calls.

For every person who calls to make offensive anti-LGBTI comments, she will donate $5 (€3.70) to the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (nAGLY).

Problems started for Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Massachusetts, US, when she learned about local Christian school, Gordon College, wanting the legal right to discriminate against gay applicants.

Her response – to end the school’s use of her town hall.

July 4, 2014

Reverend Irene Monroe explains why two recent Supreme Court decisions could be game changers for straight and LGBTI women in the worst way

This month in the US we celebrate the Fourth of July with rounds of festivities marking America's 238 years of independence.

People will be singing the Star Spangled Banner, or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, or reenacting the Continental Congress of 1776.

Many will simply be singing reproductions of the ‘rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air’.

All of this and more will be done on a grander and highly commercialized scale. All this happens at home as our American troops continue to soldier on.

June 26, 2014

Parents to three young children, Brian Rosenberg and Ferd van Gameren have set out to help other gay dads and would-be fathers with their website, GaysWithKids.com

A Toronto-based couple have launched a website dedicated to helping gay men to navigate fatherhood: from routes to parenthood to raising children.

Co-founders Brian Rosenberg and Ferd van Gameren have been together for over 20 years, and are now the proud fathers of three young children. Their story is more unusual than most, in that they have experience of both adoption (with their son, Levi), and surrogacy, with younger twins Sadie and Ella. The biological father of the twins is Rosenberg, who is also HIV positive.

June 20, 2014

But nation's top diplomat acknowledges 'there’s cloud hanging over this journey right now' with anti-gay laws in Uganda, Russia and more

US Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated his country's advances in LGBT equality on Friday (20 June) but said there must be 'push back' against a global trend of rising violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.

'We can palpably feel the wave of new, growing - the trend if you will, in some places for anti-LGBT laws that are metastasizing in various places,' Kerry said at the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies Pride Celebration.

June 6, 2014

'I think of all the serious Catholic mothers who felt freed when he said that -- free to love their kids'

Pope Francis 'thrilled' DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor when he said last year of gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

Those five words came a month after Windsor achieved a historic Supreme Court victory with the gutting of key provisions of DOMA.

She believes they will make a world of difference.

'His bully pulpit has a great deal of meaning,' Windsor said this week in an interview with HuffPost Live.

June 4, 2014

The American Family Association spokesman has claimed that the ‘gay gestapo’ is bringing back slavery in the US by expecting Christian bakers to not discriminate against gay couples

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer has accused the LGBTI community of forgetting the Civil War and trying to bring back slavery by trying to stop Christian bakers discriminating against same-sex couples.

Fischer made the comments in complaining about a Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling against a Christian baker who had refused to bake a cake in 2012 for a same-sex couple who married in Massachusetts and wanted a cake for a celebration of that marriage when they returned to their home state.

May 23, 2014

Irene Monroe looks back to a proud 10 year anniversary in Massachusetts and the quarrel which could have meant same-sex marriage didn’t happen

Marriage equality in Massachusetts hit its 10 year mark on 17 May.

With this 10th anniversary I’m proud of the indefatigable energy and genius that made it possible.

But, I didn’t always feel that way.

And my opinions, and those of LGBTI communities of color nationwide, were expressed weekly in my column The Religion Thang, for the now defunct Boston-based LGBTQ paper InNewsweekly.