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February 26, 2015

Student event returns to London this weekend

Former X Factor star Lucy Spraggan will judge the 'Voice X Talent Competition' at National Student Pride this weekend.

The star – who made her name on the 2011 series of the ITV show – will judge the singing competition, in association with Gaydio, alongside Mary Mac and Gaydio DJ Matt Crab.

The winner will get the chance to sing on the Gaydio airwaves, as well as Pride London this summer. Aspiring entrants can register online.

February 25, 2015

London mayor hopeful claims gay men are ‘obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right’

In an interview in this month’s edition of UK gay magazine Attitude, Ivan Massow, out gay businessman and hopeful Conservative candidate for Mayor of London said:

‘Gay males don’t realize it, but when you start to dissemble, and ask them the questions that are multiple choice, they’re Tory [Conservative]. But you were obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right.’

I have a few issues with that statement.

February 25, 2015

'No matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else'

The Obama administration has redefined the term 'spouse' to include married gay couples.

The plans, which have been published today by The Department of Labour in a new 52-page document, will grant gay couples the Federal right to job-protected leave from their place of work, so they can take care of a sick partner, child or parent under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA).

February 21, 2015

Tim Miller describes himself as 'thrilled and honored to work for a great person with the right message'

Jeb Bush, a presumed 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, is hiring an openly gay man as his top communications aide.

Tim Miller, 33, is currently executive director of the America Rising Political Action Committee (PAC) and wrote on Twitter Friday (20 February): 'Thrilled and honored to work for a great person with the right message.'

Bush has not formally announced his candidacy so Miller would, for now, be senior adviser for Bush’s Right to Rise PAC.

February 20, 2015

Both countries have severe anti-gay laws

Several prominent LGBTI members of Congress have urged US President Barack Obama to drop Brunei and Malaysia from a major trade deal if they do not repeal their severe anti-gay laws.

In a letter dated 18 February, five of the six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus praised the president's gay rights record but sought clarification on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his administration is trying to fast-track through Congress.

'We urge you to bring consistency to the administration’s foreign and trade policy,' the letter reads.

February 19, 2015

New South Wales politician voted against same-sex marriage in 2013

The opposition leader in New South Wales has u-turned on gay marriage after voting against reform in the Australian state in 2013.

On becoming Labor leader in January, Luke Foley said he would keep 'an open mind' and 'continue to reflect' on the issue, which cynics saw as a non-commital halfway ground ahead of the March elections.

But today, the practising Catholic spoke in favor of overturning a federal ban on gay marriage.

February 18, 2015

Australian bookmaker says 'he/she' has 'a lot of balls to cut off his own balls'

An Australian bookmaker has said it apologizes if it caused offense by taking bets on Bruce Jenner's new name.

However, Sportsbet.com.au will not suspend betting despite backlash from the transgender community.

In a press release dated 18 February, and titled Bruscilla, Queen of the Kardashians, Sportsbet.com.au offered odds 'on what name he/she will choose.'

'Zoey is leading the charge at $7.50 ahead of the much more extravagant selection of Chastity at $9.00, while a grandma name (he is 65) such as Agnes is a $11 chance,' the statement said.

February 18, 2015

Continent's first openly gay parliamentarian is surprised by the fuss

A South African MP made history last week by holding his boyfriend's hand at the State of the Nation Address.

Ian Ollis was photographed outside parliament Thursday (12 February) walking proudly hand-in-hand with his partner, Adriaan Roets, a lifestyle and entertainment journalist.

Ollis came out as Africa's first openly gay MP in 2009 and is a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights on the continent.

February 16, 2015

Incident allegedly occured at the launch of Labour's LGBT education policy

The House Of Commons are investigating an incident involving two trans activists who have claimed they were misgendered repeatedly by security staff.

Anwen Muston, a Labour transgender officer, and Sophia Botha, a disability officer for LGBT Labour, were both attending a parliamentary reception hosted by Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt for the launch of Labour’s LGBT schools policy.

According to Muston, when she presented herself at the Cromwell Green entrance to parliament, a security guard addressed her as 'sir'.

February 14, 2015

Secretary of State Kate Brown will take over after embattled Governor John Kitzhaber resigns from office

Secretary of State Kate Brown will become the first openly bisexual governor in US history next Wednesday (18 February).

Brown will succeed current Governor John Kitzhaber who announced his resignation on Friday (13 February).

Kitzhaber, a Democrat, has been immersed in an influence-peddling scandal involving his fiancée Cylvia Hayes who is accused of using her role in Kitzhaber's office for personal gain.

There is a criminal corruption probe underway.

February 13, 2015

'All I’m doing on the Supreme Court is opining about who should decide'

It would come as a surprise to no one if US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia votes against making same-sex marriage legal nationwide later this year.

But he doesn't want to be labeled as anti-gay.

The staunchly conservative Scalia voted against the gutting of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and last week was on the losing end of a vote to extend the ban against gay marriage in Alabama.

February 13, 2015

First time a US court rules homosexuality is not a disease or disorder

A New Jersey judge has ruled misrepresenting homosexuality as a disorder in marketing conversion therapy services is consumer fraud.

The ruling marks the first time a US court has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and that it is fraudulent for conversion therapists to make such a claim.

Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday (10 February) such claims violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

February 12, 2015

Justice says people will accept it

Americans will accept same-sex marriage in every state, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has said.

Pointing to the sweeping change in attitudes towards gay and lesbian couples, the 81-year-old justice said the majority of the public will be happy if the Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality.

It comes as Alabama has become the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The high court is set to rule on the issue in June, and conservatives Clarence Thomas has already indicated the court intends to rule in favor of gay rights.

February 11, 2015

A group of federal Democratic lawmakers have joined forces with Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to introduce a bill to protect LGBTI students from bullying and discrimination in public schools

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Jared Polis and Robert C Scott have been joined by Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in co-sponsoring a bill to protect LGBTI students in public schools in a move the group will encourage bipartisan support for the effort.

The lawmakers introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) on Tuesday which, if passed, will help protect public school students from bullying, harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

February 10, 2015

That's including you, Mississippi

Gay couples across the US could be celebrating the right to marry in every single state this June.

The Supreme Court has indicated the justices are likely to rule that no state can restrict marriage to only heterosexual couples.

Only two out of the nine justices - conservatives Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia - has dissented from the court's refusal to block gay weddings from starting in Alabama.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 37 out of 50 states.

February 8, 2015

It's the ninth time the PM has attended the annual gay event which is the largest in New Zealand with more than 12,000 attendees today

Prime Minister John Key, who has attended Auckland's annual Big Gay Out for nine years, appears to be taking the heckling in stride.

As he started his short speech on the main stage at Coyle Park, there were as many cheers as there were 'boos' and heckling from the crowd, according to media reports.

Key, however, smiled and told the crowd: 'Hello, how are you all? It's good to be back at The Big Gay Out. This is the ninth time I've been here.'

January 31, 2015

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ would allow people to refuse goods or services to LGBTI people on the grounds of strongly-held religious beliefs 

LGBTI activists are rallying against a new bill proposal which they fear could legitimise anti-gay discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ is a measure which could allow people to refuse goods or services to gay and lesbian people on the ground of their strongly-held religious beliefs.

January 31, 2015

The bill would have allowed any business or professional including doctors in Virginia to discriminate against LGBTI people without any legal consequences

A House subcommittee in Virginia on Thursday vetoed a proposed 'conscience clause' bill that would allow anyone holding a state license, including business owners, lawyers and doctors, to legally deny services to gay men and lesbians, even those who are legally married as well as people who are perceived to be gay.

January 30, 2015

Lawmakers side with religious freedom supporters

Idaho Republicans have effectively killed a bill that seeks to add 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' to the state's anti-discrimination law, after more than 20 hours of emotional testimony from LGBTI residents.

The Republican-led House State Affairs Committee voted 13 to 4 to hold the 'Add the Words' bill in committee. Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

Republican lawmakers said they feared the measure would lead to lawsuits against those who refused services to LGBTI people because of their religious beliefs. 

January 30, 2015

'Shouldn’t both be okay or neither? Why does society treat these activities so differently?'

Oh, Mary!

Mary Cheney, the out daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, went to her private Facebook page to wonder about the differences between drag and blackface.

According to NewNowNext, the married mom, faced this existential question after watching an ad for RuPaul's Drag Race (which returns for season seven on 2 March).

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 29, 2015

Mayor hopes the capital's example will lead to full marriage equality

Rome yesterday (January 28) recognized gay civil unions by approving the establishment of a civil union register for same-sex couples.

The city council voted in an amendment saying that gay marriages contracted abroad are to be automatically transcribed into the newly created register.

Mayor Ignazio Marino hailed the controversial move a 'historic milestone' and thanked all the councilors who voted for the registry.

January 28, 2015

Buzz around TV's Cucumber, Banana, Tofu has raised the sensitive issue of male erection problems

When you stop and think about it, erections are fairly fascinating things. When a guy is sexually aroused, blood flows into the chambers within his penis, engorging it, making it hard.

When you’re in the mood, ready for action, the clothes have come off and it’s go-time, getting an erection shouldn’t really be something you’re consciously thinking about – your body knows what to do.

However, for a lot of guys it’s not that simple.

January 25, 2015

'I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that'

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, wants to see the US Constitution amended if the Supreme Court strikes down marriage equality bans.

The Republican was a guest on the Sunday news show This Week.