Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gay Activists Arrested in Moscow Protest

(CNN) More than 30 people were arrested Saturday in central Moscow during the sixth attempt by gay rights groups to hold a parade in the city.
According to the group, Gay Russia, far right groups clashed with activists who were gathered in front of the Kremlin wall and city hall.
A total of 18 gay activists and 14 anti-gay activists were arrested, according to Moscow City police.  A police spokesman told CNN that the group did not have permission to gather publically for a parade.
Three prominent gay rights activists, Americans Dan Choi and Andy Thayer, and France's Louis-George Tin, were among those detained.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tennessee Green Lights Discrimination

Tennessee legislature passes and governor signs bill overturning and prohibiting cities from passing non-discrimination ordinances or policies to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Gay Rights advocates began calling out companies that were part of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce which supported the bill.  Many of the issued statements opposing the bill and asking the governor to veto it, AFTER the bill was already passed and signed!

Monday, May 23, 2011

TN Govenor Reverses Nashville Metro Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Strike another blow to LGBT civil rights in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the bill reversing Metro's new nondiscrimination ordinance, dealing a blow to opponents who had mounted a campaign urging him to veto the bill.

The bill effectively reverses an ordinance passed by the Metro Council that required contractors with the city to agree to follow Metro's rules barring discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

The move comes despite an effort by opponents of the bill to convince Haslam not to sign the bill, which passed by a more than two-thirds margins in the Republican-led state legislature. Gay rights activists from across the country have been pushing companies to issue statements against with the legislation.

The campaign led the executive committee of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which had supported the bill while it was in the legislature, to reverse its position Monday.

"The Tennessee Chamber supports a standard regulatory environment at the state level as opposed to potentially conflicting local regulations covering employment practices," the executive committee said in a statement released late Monday.

"That principle was the only interest the Chamber had in this bill. Because (the bill) has turned into a debate on diversity and inclusiveness principles, which we support, we are now officially opposing this legislation in its present form."

From The Tennessean

AmericaBlog has been been closely following the anti-gay legislation in Tennessee and helped launch a nationwide campaign to boycott the companies which had supported the TN Chamber of Commerce's support of the anti-gay bill.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

George Takei (Star Trek's "Mr. Sulu") Takes on TN Don't Say Gay Bill

It's OK to Be Takei

Tennessee Dismantles Anti-Discrimination Ordinances

It's been a sad week in Tennessee as the Teapublican controlled state legislature passes a series of anti-gay bills to override local non-discrimination ordinances, such as one recently passed in Nashville, and another bans discussion of homosexuality and gay issues in public elementary schools.

Tennessee Dismantles Anti-Discrimimation Ordinances

"Don't Say Gay Bill" Passes in Tenn. Senate

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Newt Gets Glittered

Newt Gingrich was showered with rainbow glitter, courtesy of a 24-year-old LGBT activist, prior to the 2012 presidential candidate’s Tuesday appearance at the antigay Minnesota Family Council’s annual dinner.
“Feel the rainbow, Newt,” activist Nick Espinosa said as he poured the glitter on Gingrich and his wife, Callista, during a book signing, according to ABC News. “Stop the hate. Stop antigay politics. It’s dividing our country and it’s not fixing our economy.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gay Activists Urge Orbitz to Drop Fox News Ads

The Advocate: Gay Leaders Urge Orbitz to Drop Fox News Ads

Several prominent gay rights groups are urging travel site Orbitz to drop its advertising from Fox News because of the network's antigay content.

Leaders from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Courage Campaign, and Equality Matters have all signed a letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that his company stop advertising on Fox News.

The letter cites former Gov. Mike Huckabee hosting a show despite his statements in the past, comparing homosexuality with drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. The letter also mentions host Bill O'Reilly warning about the dangers of allowing gay people to be near children, and others on the network "perpetuating the claim that repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports -- including the Pentagon's -- to the contrary," according to a statement released Monday.

Orbitz has been a longtime advertiser to gay media outlets, including The Advocate, as well as gay pride and other events. It also has a gay-specific travel site, offering trips to LGBT-friendly destinations.

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said companies like Orbitz, with a “strong track records of LGBT inclusion, should think twice before supporting Fox News’ pervasive pattern of indefensible bias against our community.”


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rep. Tammy Baldwin Could Become 1st Openly Gay Senator

Rep. Tammy Baldwin Could Become First Openly Gay Senate Member

Openly gay Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI). If she won the election, Baldwin would become the first openly gay member of the Senate.
Seventy-six-year old Kohl announced Friday that he will not seek reelection to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate, saying that it's "time for someone else to serve."
Baldwin is "very likely" to run for the seat, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which has endorsed Baldwin repeatedly.
"This would be a remarkable milestone for LGBT Americans," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. "Congresswoman Baldwin is one of the most admired public officials I know. She would have the strong support of those who want to see our economy work for all Americans, and who believe that all voices deserve a place at the table."
Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to win election to the U.S. Congress as a freshman in 1998.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Uganda "Kill the Gays" Bill Nears Vote

A bill that would give harsh punishment to gays and lesbians in Uganda for their sexual orientation may have a final vote sometime this week as lawmakers finished a second day of hearings on the matter on Monday.
While the initial version of the bill, introduced in 2009, would have found homosexuality punishable by death, the bill's author, David Bahati, said the Parliament has "moved away" from such a provision, the Associated Press reports. Now, lawmakers are considering a recommendation by prominent Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa to make homosexuality punishable by up to seven years in prison. Ssempa told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Monday that he does not agree with the proposed death penalty portion of the law, but he said "homosexuality is killing our society."

UPDATE: Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Postponed

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bill Clinton Endorses Marriage Equality

Former President Bill Clinton Endorses N.Y. Marriage Equality Legislation

President Bill Clinton endorsed marriage equality legislation in New York as it appears increasingly likely that lawmakers will vote on the measure by June.
Clinton announced his support in a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, saying that the goal of achieving a “more perfect union” includes marriage equality.
“Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ — deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community,” said Clinton, a New York State resident. “That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.”
He's been atoning for his past sins and mistakes on LGBT civil rights