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Gay & Lesbian


Gay parents in Arkansas gain equal treatment for birth certificates

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 23:41:57 UT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas’ governor has ordered health officials to treat married lesbian and heterosexual couples the same when listing the parents on a birth certificate, in an effort to comply with a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the state’s birth certificate law was discriminatory. Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s directive came hours after a judge blocked the state from issuing any birth certificates until it complied with the June ruling. Arkansas stopped issuing and amending birth certificates for about two hours early Friday after the injunction by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, who also canceled mediation he had ordered between attorneys for the state and three same-sex couples to find a fix to the law.

Same-sex marriage bill in Australia inspires a real proposal

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 20:49:41 UT

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian lawmaker giving a speech on same-sex marriage proposed to his gay partner Monday during Parliament’s debate on a bill that is expected to soon legalize marriage equality across the country. Tim Wilson, a 37-year-old lawmaker in the conservative coalition government, was among the first lawmakers to join the House of Representatives debate and toward the end of his speech popped the question to his partner of seven years Ryan Bolger, who was watching from the public gallery.

Supreme Court to hear major discrimination case

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 20:44:35 UT

In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion’s place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It’s not about the cake. At its core, the case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on Tuesday is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, was judged through multiple phases of litigation to have violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Mayor names new adviser for transgender issues: Clair Farley of SFLGBT Center

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:19:13 UT

Prominent transgender advocate Clair Farley has been appointed to be San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s senior adviser on transgender initiatives, the mayor’s office announced Monday. Farley, currently director of economic development at the San Francisco LGBT Center, will replace Theresa Sparks, who’s retiring at the end of the year after working for the city in various capacities for two decades. “Clair Farley has been an inspirational leader in our city on LGBTQ economic and social rights issues,” Lee said in a statement.

Moore supporters’ hostility worries LGBT advocates

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:57:04 UT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A smiling Roy Moore stood shoulder to shoulder with his fiercest religious allies. Flanked by a sign for Moore’s Senate campaign, one supporter railed against the “LGBT mafia” and “homosexualist gay terrorism.” Another warned that “homosexual sodomy” destroys those who participate in it and the nations that allow it. Still another described same-sex marriage as “a mirage” because “it’s phony and fake.

LGBT activists make gains at local level

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 21:11:12 UT

At the U.S. Capitol and in most statehouses nationwide, supporters of LGBT rights are unable to make major gains these days. Instead, they’re notching victories in seemingly unlikely venues, such as Morgantown, W.Va., and Birmingham, Ala. They are among scores of cities and towns in Republican-governed states that have acted on their own, passing resolutions and ordinances pledging nondiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the absence of comparable statewide laws. De Pere, Wisconsin — a Green Bay suburb not noted for LGBT activism — took a big step last week toward joining the movement.

Harvey Milk memorialized in light and art in the Castro

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 14:15:16 UT

Before the rain came the rainbow. On the 40th anniversary of the election of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, shafts of multicolored LED lights rose into the clouds as “Harvey’s Halo” came alive in the Castro on Wednesday night. The light sculptures shine from the top of the old Bank of America building at Harvey Milk Plaza at the corner of Market and Castro and were created by Illuminate, the nonprofit that has bedazzled the Bay Bridge and the Conservatory of Flowers, and is slowly transforming the city’s skyline in LED. An estimated crowd of 600 stood on both sides of Castro Street to watch the dedication.

Who are California’s transgender adults? New study finds some surprises

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 07:01:00 UT

Transgender adults in California have about the same poverty and education levels as people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, but they are more likely to be white and to be struggling with suicidal impulses, according to a new UCLA study. The report, which is being released Tuesday as part of UCLA’s annual California Health Interview Survey, found that there are an estimated 92,000 transgender adults in California, or 0.35 percent of the state’s over-18 population. UCLA billed the study as the most comprehensive survey of transgender demographics ever conducted in California.

Global trend favors decriminalizing same-sex relations

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 21:31:31 UT

UNITED NATIONS — Laws criminalizing consensual gay sex have been scrapped in about 25 countries in the last 20 years, but more than 70 nations still have such prohibitions, according to a U.N. expert. And in many places around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people live in “a crucible of egregious violations” of human rights, enduring violence and discrimination, said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the U.N.’s first-ever independent expert investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. The world body’s Human Rights Council appointed him last year, in a move that met significant opposition amid deep international divisions on gay rights.

Prominent chefs oppose baker in major gay rights case

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:05:39 UT

WASHINGTON — Prominent chefs, bakers and restaurant owners want the Supreme Court to rule against a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The food makers say that once they open their doors for business, they don’t get to choose their customers. They say that abiding by laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation does not strip them of creative control of a dish or a pastry. Celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Elizabeth Falkner and Carla Hall, the owners of a popular Washington, D.C., cupcake shop and a small-town baker from Mississippi are among those who are signing onto a legal brief being written by the Human Rights Campaign.

Not illegal to be gay in Indonesia, but police are cracking down anyway

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:24:50 UT

JAKARTA, Indonesia — In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, homosexuality is legal and the state largely stays out of issues of private morality. But as conservative religious groups become more prominent in political life here, police are increasingly finding other ways to crack down on LGBT communities. This weekend they arrested 58 Indonesians and foreigners at a Jakarta sauna popular with gay men, allegedly for violating the country’s pornography laws.

Dozens arrested in raid on gays in Indonesia

Sun, 8 Oct 2017 20:53:37 UT

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Dozens of men, including several foreigners, were arrested in a raid of a gay sauna in Indonesia’s capital, police said Sunday, as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face increased hostility in the world’s most-populous Muslim nation. Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Friday’s raid in downtown Jakarta will lead to seven people being charged under Indonesia’s pornography law, including the sauna’s owner and staffers. They face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines. Yuwono said the other 51 men will be released if they are found to not be criminals or carrying drugs.

1st gay couples in Germany celebrate new right to marry

Sun, 1 Oct 2017 21:48:28 UT

BERLIN — Germany celebrated its first same-sex weddings Sunday, after a new law came into force putting gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples. Town halls in Berlin, Hamburg and elsewhere opened their doors to mark the event, made possible by a surprise vote in Parliament three months ago. “We’re making a single exception to fire a symbolic starter pistol because same-sex marriages are possible from today,” said Gordon Holland, a registrar in Berlin’s Schoeneberg district. Holland said it was appropriate for Schoeneberg to hold the first same-sex wedding in the country because it has long been a center of gay life in the German capital.

News of the Day From Across the Nation

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 23:32:11 UT

1 Mormon conference: A top Mormon leader reaffirmed the religion’s opposition to same-sex marriage Saturday during a church conference in Salt Lake City watched by members around the world. Dallin Oaks, a member of a top governing body, urged members to follow church teachings that dictate that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual men and women. The speech followed a push in recent years by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to uphold theological opposition to same-sex relationships amid widespread social acceptance while trying to foster an empathetic stance toward LGBT people. The church received backlash in 2008 for helping lead the fight for a ban on gay marriage in California.

Brontez Purnell reading, performance at City Lights

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:34:06 UT

Brontez Purnell, a fixture of the Bay Area queer-punk-art scene for more than a decade, will read from his novel, “Since I Laid My Burden Down,” at City Lights on Wednesday, Sept. 20. His band, the Younger Lovers, is also set to perform. The reading and performance begin at 7 p.m. at City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco. — Ryan Kost