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50+ Pro-Equality Organizations Send Letter to Obama Urging Executive Order on LGBT Discrimination: READ IT

More than 50 pro-equality LGBT groups and allied groups sent a letter today to President Obama urging him to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, HRC reports:

Obama“Issuing an executive order is a crucial step toward ending workplace discrimination against LGBT people,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.  “After a historic pro-equality first term, President Obama could level the playing field for LGBT employees of federal contractors with the stroke of a pen and ensure they have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

“By banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans, President Obama would extend the commitment to non-discrimination first made by President Roosevelt more than 70 years ago when he signed an executive order integrating the nation's shipyards and other worksites run by defense contractors,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Taking this action would result in at least some workplaces in all 50 states having legally binding protections for LGBT Americans - a first in our nation's history."

“Nearly 175,000 Americans have signed Freedom to Work’s online petition asking President Obama to issue an executive order to save our taxpayer money from subsidizing workplace discrimination,” said Tico Almeida, President of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work.  “We are grateful to the dozens of national organizations joining today’s letter to urge the President that the time to act is now.”

Read the letter and see the list of signatories below:

Letter by towleroad


Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 3:00 PM EST by in Barack Obama, Discrimination, ENDA, News | Permalink | Comments (7)

GLAAD President Wants to Know 'What the Hell is Going On' at AP with Guidance on Gay Married Couples?

Last week we reported on new guidelines sent out by the Associated Press, indicating that the words "husband" and "wife" should only be used to describe married gay couples if the couples themselves describe themselves that way, or if someone uses the term in a quote.

ApThey wrote:

SAME-SEX COUPLES: We were asked how to report about same-sex couples who call themselves “husband” and “wife.” Our view is that such terms may be used in AP content if those involved have regularly used those terms (“Smith is survived by his husband, John Jones”) or in quotes attributed to them. Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association subsequently published an open letter to the AP saying it found the guidance "troubling".

The AP then told Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner that it is holding firm:

AP spokesman Paul Colford told BuzzFeed Thursday evening, "This week's style guidance reaffirmed AP's existing practice. We've used husband and wife in the past for same-sex married couples and have made clear that reporters can continue to do so going forward."

Now GLAAD is taking a tougher line on the AP, demanding a "solution that carries more weight":

Without official clarification in the AP Stylebook, many reporters and editors – including those not with the AP - could look to the above paragraph as guidance, and would therefore apply that harmful double-standard to same-sex couples who are married.

We are well past the point of needing clarification to that one section of that internal memo. We need a solution that carries more weight. The AP should codify, in the official AP Stylebook, what seems (in practice, if not in that paragraph) to already be its preferred terminology for same-sex married couples.

Said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick:

"The AP needs to quit obfuscating and delaying and must fix its style guidance now so that reporters describe people in same-sex marriages accurately. That the Associated Press has let this issue drag on for a week is completely perplexing. What the hell is going on over on West 33rd Street?"

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 2:30 PM EST by in GLAAD, News | Permalink | Comments (37)

Minnesota GOP State Senator Says He'll Co-Sponsor Marriage Equality Bill, Wants to 'Do the Right Thing'

Minnesota GOP state senator Branden Petersen may soon be the first Republican co-sponsor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state, the Star Tribune reports:

PetersenHaving a Republican co-author would be an enormous political coup for same-sex marriage advocates as they prepare to unveil their proposal in the days ahead. Petersen would become the first Republican legislator to publicly support same-sex marriage, highlighting the rapidly changing dynamics of the issue at the Capitol.

“At this point, I am concerned about doing the right thing,” said Petersen, an Andover resident who is married and has two young children. “I have a certain amount of peace about that, and I will let the chips fall where they may.”

Petersen says he does have some requests however, before he signs on:

Petersen said he has several concerns that must be addressed before he will sign onto the measure. He wants to add language guaranteeing that any religious leader can choose not to wed same-sex couples. He also insists that kids in same-sex marriages have the same financial guarantees as children of other married couples in time of divorce.

“It’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal,” Petersen said. “I thought it was important to engage the issue now, and when we do it, do it right, and that there’s some perspective from the people I represent in that.”

Senator Scott Dibble, the bill's lead sponsor who said over the weekend that he planned to introduce the bill this week, says he sees no problem with Petersen's requests.

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 2:01 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Minnesota, News | Permalink | Comments (10)

'Downton Abbey' Creator on Thomas Barrow, Attitudes Toward Gays Then and Now


The NYT talks to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes about Season 3, and part of their conversation discusses Thomas Barrow's storyline, and the attitudes toward gay people then and now.

Another story line from this season dealt with the household learning that the servant Thomas is gay. Had you decided that about him from the time you created the character?

FellowesHe was always going to be gay. I don’t know about in America, but here, there are so many people under 40 who were hardly aware of the fact that it was actually illegal until the 1960s. Perfectly normal men and women were risking prison by making a pass at someone. Their whole life was lived in fear, and ruin and humiliation and career after career would be smacked down. I think it’s useful to remind people that many things that they take for granted, are, in terms of our history, comparatively new. But I also felt it was believable that someone living under that pressure would be quite snippy and ungenerous and untrusting. But once you understood what he was up against, you’d forgive quite a lot of that. I like to write characters where you change your mind, without them becoming different people.

The reactions from the others in the house, particularly those who disapprove so vehemently, make you see them in a new light, too.

Well, I think it’s a mistake to give people modern attitudes if you want them to remain sympathetic, because I think the audience picks up on that. If Carson had said, “Oh, yes, I think it’s absolutely fine,” that’s a 2013 response. My parents didn’t have any prejudice about this at all, actually. In fact, my brother’s godfather was gay, quite publicly, which in the 50s was pretty wild. This was a good friend of my father’s. He was liberal. It didn’t bother him if people were homosexual. But we can forget how we were ringed in with these prejudices until really quite recently.

Read the full interview HERE.


Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 1:20 PM EST by in Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, News, Rob James-Collier, Television | Permalink | Comments (23)

The Science Behind Pornography Addiction: VIDEO


The ASAP Science guys fill you in on how it rewires your brain, why some of you keep going back, how it's affecting your reality, and what you can do about it.


Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 12:50 PM EST by in News, Science | Permalink | Comments (35)

Focus on the Family 'Ex-Gay' Denounces Gays for Trying to 'Silence' Victimized Christians - VIDEO


Focus on the Family commentator and self-identified "ex-gay" Jeffrey Johnston defends anti-gay discrimination with FOTF's CitizenLink host Stuart Shepard,  denouncing the evil gays who are trying to shut down Christian businesses and "silencing Christian voices in the public square."

In fact, it's the so-called 'Christian' business owners who are refusing to serve gay customers.


(via good as you)

Posted Feb. 20,2013 at 12:30 PM EST by in "Ex-Gays", Discrimination, Evangelical Christians, Evangelicals, Focus on the Family | Permalink | Comments (33)


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