Archive for lgbt rights

VIDEO: No, George Takei did not suggest boycotting the Olympics. He had a better idea.

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Contrary to what's been floating around the Internets, George Takei did not start a petition to boycott the Olympics because of Russia's despicable and dangerous actions against gays and lesbians. He had a much better, more feasible idea, and you can sign the petition here if you agree.

Last night he presented a very convincing argument for moving the games to Vancouver. Here are some excerpts from his segment on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

O'Donnell:

In his latest blog post my next guest George Takei writes, "Nations are not judged merely on their might, but also by how they treat their most vulnerable. Russia's cynical and deplorable actions again the LGBT community have given license to hate groups within its borders to act with violence and impunity against a group based solely on whom they were born to love. It now seeks to spread that hate abroad through its tainted Olympics. the IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans and move their 2014 winter Olympics out of Russia."

Takei:

We must get it out of Russia. It is an untolerable [sic] situation. They've stated sternly that the laws will be enforced which has given license to hooligans and thugs to humiliate ...

It's a terrible situation. Vancouver can handle it. They have the facilities there, the hotel capacity, and I've been flooded with Canadians writing me saying, "We will embrace you with open arms, the Olympics."

It's the IOC that's got to stand up on this because they bear a huge responsibility. you know, there are athletes that are gays or lesbians and their supporters are gay or lesbians too and they are being put in danger; and if something horrific happens, and it's very likely given the kind of history of what's been happening there, the responsibility is great.

The IOC can move the Olympics out. There is enough time to do that yet.

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DC Council makes it easier for transgender people to get new birth certificates

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moment of happy smaller

Need a Moment of Happy? I sure do! Why, here's one now!

Thanks to the Supreme Court's boost to marriage equality, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is slowly but surely benefiting, and the needs of transgender people, "who are seen as the most vulnerable of the four groups," are finally starting to be met.

That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief (bigots and homophobes excepted, of course).

Via the Lost Angeles Times:

[T]he District of Columbia Council passed the country's most liberal policy for updating birth certificates, one that transgender activists hope will become a nationwide model. The mayor is expected to sign it Tuesday. [...]

The Washington measure eliminates requirements for surgery and a court order that, transgender rights attorney Lisa Mottet said, make it too expensive and inaccessible for most transgender people to complete a legal transition. [...]

Nationwide, only 24% of transgender people can get the gender changed on their birth certificates because of restrictive laws, according to a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, where Mottet works. This can create problems when they enroll in schools or apply for jobs [...]

Washington will grant new birth certificates to transgender people who provide a statement from a licensed healthcare provider that they have undergone "appropriate treatment" for a gender transition. The measure, which passed unanimously, also exempts them from a requirement to advertise a concurrent name change for three weeks in a newspaper.

Before this, people only got updated birth certificates after having sexual reassignment surgery, which is not exactly inexpensive or easy. And the birth certificate would be amended, not reissued, making it obvious that someone was transitioned, putting them at risk of being outed.

Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, says that California will be the next state to adopt this new policy, hopefully by the end of the year. I am once again very proud of my home state.

And in an even Moment of Happier, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) believes we're on a roll nationally, saying, "We're at the very beginning of a snowball starting to be created here."

This calls for a Moment of Snowball:

snowballing

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ExxonMobil accused of anti-gay hiring bias #LGBT

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Boston strong tee shirts

 I snapped this one in a store at Quincy Market

Yesterday in my post PhotOH! On the streets of Boston: An important message for Congress, written in chalk, I shared one of the two most gripping moments I had in the two days I spent in the wonderful, awe-inspiring city of Boston.

Here, as promised, is the second one. We had just stepped outside our hotel when we heard loud shouting by what sounded like a crowd of people. My first instinct was to look around to see if another tragedy was about to occur, but that only lasted a second or two, because the images below are what quickly appeared before my own very eyes.

It was exhilarating. I'd never been this close up and personal to something like this, and I couldn't stop smiling. The smiles I got in return made the experience that much more rewarding:

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Then today, still floaty and optimistic from sweet memories of that event, I woke up to this bubble bursting news in my morning Los Angeles Times:

Consider two fictitious female job candidates with nearly identical resumes, both vying for an administrative assistant position, one with better grades and a history of volunteering for a gay rights group.

At oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, hiring managers allegedly chased after the less qualified prospect while ignoring the applicant linked to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a charge filed against the company Wednesday.

The complaint from nonprofit LGBT worker advocacy group Freedom to Work and law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, filed in the Illinois Department of Human Rights, accuses Exxon of discrimination based on sexual orientation. [...]

The group alleged that the candidate who volunteered for a feminist college group and earned a 3.9 grade-point average in college received more call-backs than the applicant with a 3.98 GPA and served as treasurer of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

Please follow the link for more.

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Dear Dems, you can stop praising Chris Christie now. Seriously.

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just stop

Please take another look at why Chris Christie really is, and never has been, the “moderate” people say he is: Enough about what a great Democrat Chris Christie would make, okay? and VIDEO: Chris Christie not conservative? Bull pucky. Check out his record and Think for yourself. Ask questions. Do your homework.

His approvals are through the roof, and Democrats inexplicably continue to praise him because he occasionally does or says the right thing. Key word: Occasionally. Make that rarely. This baffles me.

Here's one of the wrong things he's doing:

(CNN) – A ban on so-called "gay conversion therapy" that's being considered by New Jersey lawmakers doesn't yet have the approval of the state's Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who said he hasn't made up his mind whether he would sign the ban into law.

Seriously? He has to think about this one?

Wait, it gets worse:

The paper reported Christie saying he never reads bills before they hit his desk for approval.

Seriously? He doesn't bother to read bills before approving or vetoing? He's already vetoed a marriage equality bill that he apparently didn't read.

On Wednesday, Christie reaffirmed his personal opposition to same-sex marriage.

Has he been talking to Marcus Bachmann? What next, approving a bloodletting bill?

The bill – which was approved by a state Senate committee on Monday – would make it illegal for a professional counselor to "engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18." Therapy methods vary, but are often times associated with fundamentalist Christian groups who oppose homosexuality. Shock therapy is used in some instances.

Major medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, oppose therapies that aim to treat homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Seriously? He has to think about a bill that can destroy lives, electrically shock kids into submission, and drive them to suicide? What century is he living in?

Read my lips, Chris: Being gay is not a choice.

Oh, and it doesn't work:

"These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

Seriously? He's pandering to people who reside in a previous century?

Seriously? Democrats actually admire this guy?

seriously with question mark

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Boy Scouts of America delay vote on ending gay membership ban

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You missed the opportunity to enter the 21st Century, BSA.

(Reuters) - Boy Scouts of America board members on Wednesday delayed until May a vote on whether to end a longstanding and controversial ban on gay membership.

The century-old youth organization had been expected to vote on the matter at a board meeting in Dallas on Wednesday. The Boy Scouts upheld the ban just last year but faced sharp criticism from gay rights groups.

"After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy," the Boy Scouts said in an emailed statement.

In the interim, the board will continue its consultations with other scouting representatives and will take up the matter at its national council meeting in May.

The Boy Scouts touched off fierce lobbying by groups both for and against changing the policy when it said late last month that it was considering removing the national restriction based on sexual orientation and leaving the decision to local chapters.

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