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October 30, 2014

The two drag queens are 'coffee frenemies'

Rupaul's Drag Race favourites Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano star in the first LGBTI Starbucks advert.

The season six winner and runner-up filmed the commercial titled Coffee Frenemies for Canadian LGBTI channel OUTtv in June while performing at WorldPride in Toronto.

Bianca may have helped Adore on the show, but she will not let her line-cutting protégé get between her and her skinny latte - which incidentally was going to be her drag name before she chose Bianca. 

October 27, 2014

Former US president praises speed of LGBTI movement but warns against complacency

Former US President Bill Clinton last night urged LGBTI activists to continue fighting for equality following recent victories for gay marriage advocates.

'I’ve never seen a civil rights movement, at least in our country, move as far and as fast as your movement, ever,' he said at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) annual dinner in Washington DC.

Since the beginning of October, the number of states that allow gay marriage has shot from 19 to 32, as well as the district of Columbia.

October 20, 2014

During commercial, nonplussed mom comforts son who is heartbroken over a guy

When Robbie Macaraeg was 17, he had his heart broken for the first time by a guy.

His mom was there for him - at least during the commercial breaks of a Seattle Seahawks game.

Macaraeg, who is from Bremerton, Washington, shared with ImFromDriftwood.com that he came home in tears as his mom was watching her beloved Seahawks play.

'I walked in, my mom is in her uniform, her jersey, her Seahawks jersey, screaming at the TV, "Go Hawks, no, no!"

October 15, 2014

Calls have been made to scrap of an agreement that lets the US keep custody of servicemen accused of committing crimes in the country

Dozens of protesters burned the US flag yesterday night outside the US embassy in Manila demanding Washington hand over a marine suspected of murdering a transgender woman to Philippine authorities.

About 40 young activists waving red flags and shouting 'US troops out now' called for the scrapping of an agreement that allows the US to keep jursidiction of  military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines.

October 14, 2014

Police dragged the protesters away even though they had permits

Eight LGBTI activists were detained for 'disobedience' on Sunday at a National Coming Out Day protest in Moscow.

The activists were dragged to the ground and into police cars near Sokolniki metro station even though they had the necessary permits.

The Queer Russia website reported that police started checking the documents of the activists 10-15 minutes after the protest started. They said the real purpose of the protest did not match their declared one. 

October 5, 2014

Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to make the cake for 'religious reasons', and now face bankruptcy for discrimination

An Oregon bakery which refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple is facing a fine for $150,000 - which could leave them bankrupt.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery, had refused to serve a lesbian bride-to-be in January 2013 because of their religious beliefs.

October 2, 2014

Russia says the program bypassed laws banning adoptions from countries that recognize gay marriage

Russia has suspended a long-running student exchange program with the US after a teenager stayed in the country under the guardianship of a gay couple.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) had helped the couple bypass laws banning adoptions from countries that recognize gay marriage, and had not respected the 'moral and ethical principles of Russian society.'

August 23, 2014

Brown's killing spree was a response to US foreign policy against Muslim countries

The suspect in the double homicide of gay men in Seattle is linked to two other killings, one in Seattle the other New Jersey.

According to the Seattle Times, Ali Muhammad Brown is now charged with two other deaths. On 27 April, Leroy Henderson was walking to his Seattle home, from a store, when he was shot multiple times.

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 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 3, 2014

Uganda president Museveni said his trip to Washington next week had nothing to do with the striking down of the anti-gay bill, and sounded defiant on the future of the bill

Uganda president Yoweri Museveni has said the US had nothing to do with the striking down of the anti-gay bill on Friday (1 August).

Speaking at a press conference, the anti-gay leader denied the US put any pressure on him to get rid of the draconian bill.

‘I was going to Washington with the bill when it was stopped. It has nothing to do with us going to Washington,’ he told Agence France Press.

He also commented on reports circulating about countries stopping their aid to Uganda, which he also denied.

July 20, 2014

The suspect allegedly used a gay dating smart phone app to arrange a meeting with one of the victims

The suspect in the double homicide of of gay men in Seattle has been arrested in New Jersey.

According to CBS New York, Ali Muhammad Brown was apprehended  in West Orange, New Jersey this past Friday (18 July). The 29-year-old is originally from East Orange.

July 18, 2014

Will protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama has chosen Monday (21 July) as the day he will make good on his promise to sign an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTI employees.

The order will apply to an estimated 28 million people - one-fifth of the US workforce - who work for federal contractors and the federal government.

July 15, 2014

Jose Antonio Vargas is a former Washington Post reporter who has lived in the US since he was 12

Jose Antonio Vargas, one of the best-known undocumented immigrants in the US, was detained by Border Patrol agents in Texas on Tuesday (15 July) in an incident that qickly made headlines.

A photo of Vargas in handcuffs was posted on Twitter sparking outrage among supporters. He was later released.

Vargas, who is Filipino and gay, is an outspoken activist for immigration reform in the US. He had been attempting to board a flight to Los Angeles when he was detained at McAllen-Miller International Airport.

July 14, 2014

76-year-old former social studies teacher Jim Gaylord, fired as a teacher for being gay in 1972, finally got an apology from Washington’s Tacoma School Board on Sunday

76-year-old Jim Gaylord has received an apology for the termination that ended his teaching career 42 years ago.

Gaylord was fired from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington, in 1972 after the local school board learned that he was gay after 12 years of teaching social studies at the school.

The school found out after a gay student at the school who knew an adult friend of Gaylord’s had sought out his counsel about his sexual orientation.

Gaylord did not confirm his sexual orientation to the student but gave him advice.

July 14, 2014

76-year-old former social studies teacher Jim Gaylord, fired as a teacher for being gay in 1972, finally got an apology from Washington’s Tacoma School Board on Sunday

76-year-old Jim Gaylord has received an apology for the termination that ended his teaching career 42 years ago.

Gaylord was fired from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington, in 1972 after the local school board learned that he was gay after 12 years of teaching social studies at the school.

The school found out after a gay student at the school who knew an adult friend of Gaylord’s had sought out his counsel about his sexual orientation.

Gaylord did not confirm his sexual orientation to the student but gave him advice.

July 3, 2014

Ali Muhammad Brown is wanted over the 1 June murder of two gay men in Seattle and authorities believe they were targeted because of their sexual orientation

An American Muslim born extremist is on the run in the United States after authorities believe he murdered two gay men in Seattle and robbed a coffee shop in New Jersey.

Authorities are unaware of 30-year-old Ali Muhammad Brown’s current location but say he underwent training with a radical Islamist group in California three months ago.

Police say Brown may have targeted one of his victims, Ahmed Said, as he was a gay man with a Muslim sounding name.

July 3, 2014

Ali Muhammad Brown is wanted over the 1 June murder of two gay men in Seattle and authorities believe they were targeted because of their sexual orientation

An American Muslim born extremist is on the run in the United States after authorities believe he murdered two gay men in Seattle and robbed a coffee shop in New Jersey.

Authorities are unaware of 30-year-old Ali Muhammad Brown’s current location but say he underwent training with a radical Islamist group in California three months ago.

Police say Brown may have targeted one of his victims, Ahmed Said, as he was a gay man with a Muslim sounding name.

June 29, 2014

'Don't sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you're doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you're doing the wrong thing, then you'll ruin your immortal soul,' says dad to son

Patrick Haggerty, who grew up as a gay teenager in the 1950s in rural Washington, shared an important lesson about self-acceptance from his dad, a farmer who turned up in his school wearing dirty jeans and boots.

Haggerty, who is now 70, said he didn't know he was gay at the time, but says his father who he described as the 'patron saint of dads for sissies' knew what direction he was headed.

June 29, 2014

To opt-out of marriage, the couple must legally end their partnership

Many same-sex couples in Washington, who are already in state registered domestic partnerships, will be recognized by the state as being married from Monday, whether they want to or not.

The automatic trigger was part of the 2012 state law legalizing same-sex marriages. A provision of that law converts all same-sex domestic partnerships – in which at least one partner is under 62 years old – to marriage on June 30.

June 29, 2014

Gay pride in New York City gets a rousing start with the annual Dyke March

When the drums started, the crowd cheered. The beats started the New York City Dyke March.

In 1993, the Lesbian Avengers sponsored the first such march in Washington, DC.

The tradition moved to New York City and for 22 years women have taken the streets of Manhattan, the day before the official gay pride parade.

It all starts at Bryant Park, near Times Square, and heads down Fifth Avenue. The procession ends in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, the neighborhood of the Stonewall Riots.

June 22, 2014

As part of the cathedral's celebration of LGBT pride month, Rev Dr Cameron Partridge will be the first transgender pastor to preach at the historic Washington National Cathedral

The Rev Dr Cameron Partridge will become the first openly transgender priest to preach at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC on Sunday, June 22, in a service led by Rev Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be elected a bishop.

The service is part of the cathedral's celebration of LGBT pride month and will include readings and prayers offered by members of the local LGBT community.

June 11, 2014

The Boy Scouts of America’s policy of excluding members once they become adults has been criticized by Attorney General Eric Holder in the strongest statement by a US official against the policy to date

US Attorney General Eric Holder has made a stinging criticism of the Boy Scouts of America excluding gay and lesbian adults from scouting in comments to a Washington gathering of LGBTI legal advocate Lambda Legal.

‘The continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders – by an iconic American institution – only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes,’ Holder said Tuesday.

June 10, 2014

Director calls it 'full circle moment' since film is about AIDS activists trying to get the attention of the government

President Barack Obama this week called The Normal Heart's director Ryan Murphy to let him know he had seen the AIDS drama.

He loved it and found it moving, according to Deadline Hollywood.

There is irony in the call since in the film, activist Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo) rages against the state and federal government officials over their indifference to the AIDS epidemic that was killing so many men in the 1980s.