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Alabama GOP Seeks To Oust Pro-Gay College Republican Chairwoman

The Alabama republican Party is considering an amendment that would remove the current Alabama College Republicans Chairwoman Stephanie Petelos from her post - simply due to her vocal favorable reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA.

Yellowhammer News reports:

AlA proposed amendment to the bylaws of the Alabama Republican Party would remove from the Party’s steering committee any member who publicly supports a position contrary to the most recent GOP platform, which was adopted during the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Party insiders say the proposed amendment was written as a direct result of comments made by current Alabama College Republicans Chairwoman Stephanie Petelos around the time the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“We just [love] freedom and fun. That’s all. Don’t hate.” Petelos posted on her Facebook page after the Court’s decision was announced. She also encouraged her Facebook friends to “like” a page for a pro-gay marriage group called “Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry.”

Petelos was also interviewed for this summer in which she stated her pro-gay stance. In the piece, she went so far as to claim that she is far from alone in her party.

StephThe majority of students don't derive the premise of their argument for or against gay marriage from religion, because we're governed by the constitution and not the Bible," Petelos said.

Though some young Republicans have come out in support of gay marriage, Petelos said even more probably believe in it but remain quiet in fear of retribution.

"I think a lot of people would be actively for it if they didn't live in fear of backlash from party leaders," she said. "We don't want to go against the party, we love the party. We're just passionate about a whole list of other issues, that's why we're involved."

Says Don Wallace, President of the Alabama Republican Assembly and Past Vice-Chairman of ALGOP: "When the College Republican Chairwoman made official statements in conflict with the party platform’s support for traditional marriage, as well as the Governor and Chairman Armistead, I believe that requires action by the Republican Party on both procedural and moral grounds."

According to Talking Points Memo, the GOP party will vote on the proposed amendment on August 24.

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 8:21 PM EST by in Alabama, News, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (27)

Stephen Fry And David Cameron Meet To Discuss The Problem With Russia

The Grapes
Not unlike Harvey Fierstein, actor Stephen Fry has been very vocal about the gay rights abuses happening in Russia as the Sochi Olympics draw nearer. Fry challenged Prime Minister David Cameron's assertion that Britain's presence in the games is vital to the case for gay rights in Russia. Fry wrote,

At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world. The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. 

For  there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement for ever and wipe away any of that glory.

The Prime Minister replied via Twitter with,

Thank you for your note @stephenfry. I share your deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.

‘However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics. DC.

At this point newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev invited the two men to The Grapes, a pub he co-owns with Sir Ian McKellen in Limehouse, to discuss their differences over drinks in a private room. When the meeting ended, sources say that Fry was pleased at Cameron's explanations on how Britain would use its attendance to make the case for gay rights, though no specifics were revealed.

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 6:28 PM EST by in David Cameron, Olympics, Russia, Sochi Olympics, Stephen fry, United Kingdom | Permalink | Comments (11)

UESE Wants IOC To Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity In Its Charter

Sochi Olympic Rings
Earlier this week, it was circulated that the IOC intends to crack down on any expressions of solidarity or advocacy regarding LGBT rights in Russia. The committee claims that they are not aligning themselves with the Russian government. Rather, they say that any sort of "demonstration of political, religious or racial propaganda" runs contrary to the regulations and spirit of the Olympic Games. This decision is partially due to the fact that, currently, the Olympic Charter only forbids discrimination on the basis of race, religion, politics and gender

United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment (UESE), as well as their international partners at Pride House, want to change that, by urging the IOC and its president, Jacques Rogge, to update the Olympic Charter to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to that list, effectively protecting LGBT athletes, coaches, officials, press, and spectators from the hostile environment they will be facing in Sochi this upcoming February.  David McFarland, Founder & CEO of UESE, had this to say in the group's press release:

"While today’s request to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the Olympic Charter remains vital to sport and the founding principals of the Olympic movement, the message of acceptance and diversity must be heard louder then ever from the IOC and leaders throughout the world for our athletes and Russian brothers and sisters." 

Occupy-anti-gay-group-russia-2Apparently, president Rogge of the IOC agrees with this sentiment, previously stating, during a meeting that took place in Moscow on August 9th, that “The Olympic charter is clear. A sport is a human right and it should be available to all, regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation." Unfortunately, Rogge's remarks don't have the potential to affect much change if the charter does not reflect them. 

"Additionally, UESE and its partner organizations support the idea that the IOC should consider a country’s human rights record and laws when allowing nation’s to bid as a host city. UESE proposed to the IOC that countries that discriminate against persons on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, or any other criteria, should not be qualified to bid for or host Olympic Games.
"Lastly, UESE and its partners requested that the IOC should require the presence of a community-based Pride House at all Olympic Games to foster the above goals and encourage dialogue and exchange on issues of discrimination and visibility for LGBT athletes and the LGBT sport movement."

UESE states in their release that "new program and strategy initiatives" are currently in the works, and that the group will be announcing them some time in the coming weeks. Already, Pride House has announced a "Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative", which encourages all Olympic participants, regardless of their orientation or identity, to hold hands with as many mambers of the same sex as possible. 

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 5:41 PM EST by in LGBT Rights, News, Olympics, Russia, Sochi Olympics, Sports | Permalink | Comments (8)

Woman Proposes To Girlfriend On Stage At Macklemore Concert: Video


Kara Toomey says she popped the question on a whim. According to ABC News:

The fan, Val Dallas, held a sign that read "Can I Propose to My Girlfriend On Stage?" The sign was printed on rainbow-colored poster board, a nod to the couple's sexual orientation and to "Same Love," Macklemore and Lewis' hit song that is a tribute to marriage equality.

Watch video of the proposal as well as an interview with newly engaged couple, AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 4:44 PM EST by in Macklemore, News, Ryan Lewis | Permalink | Comments (6)

News: New Zealand, Glenn Greenwald, Katy Perry, Madonna

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Same-sex marriage will become legal in New Zealand tomorrow. So far, at least 31 gay and lesbian couples plan to marry on that day.

Glenn6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner detained and questioned under terrorism act at Heathrow Airport. Said Greenwald: "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ."

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Al Jazeera America, the newest 24-hour cable news channel since Fox News, debuts tomorrow.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c The longest flight in the world to end for good.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Bullied gay Italian teen takes his own life. Study shows many gay teens in that country contemplate suicide: "The study of 4,000 high school students, ages 14 to 18 years-old, found that about 5 percent identified as LGBT, of which one out of three contemplated suicide at least once."

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c One gay writer's experience with being skinny-fat in the gay community.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Listen to audio from an interview with Katy Perry and anti-gay Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott: "Let's talk about gay marriage...That's right. Love is equal.'"

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Madonna celebrates birthday number 55. Madonna

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Third gender option on German birth certificates: "A new German law stipulates that children who are born of indeterminate gender no longer have to be categorized as 'male"' or 'female.' Instead, parents can choose to leave the space blank on their child's birth certificate, according to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Those individuals can eventually decide whether to identify as male, female or neither."

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Chris Pine takes a coffee break.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Benedict Cumberbatch believes documenting the crisis in Egypt is more important than photographing a movie shoot.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104c9523d970c Gay wedding only shop opens in the UK: "We played around with the idea and thought there was a massive gap in the market for same sex marriages."

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 4:25 PM EST by in Al Jazeera, Australia, Chris Pine, Gay Marriage, Germany, Glenn Greenwald, Katy Perry, Madonna, New Zealand, News, NSA | Permalink | Comments (10)

Florida Condo Association Only Wants Single Or 'Husband And Wife' Homebuyers

Casa di Amici
A condo association in Venice, Florida has decided to outright ban any homebuyers who are "living in sin". That is: 

"The sale, lease, or transfer of a Condominium Unit may be made only to an individual, to a husband and wife jointly, to the trustee or trustees of a trust, the beneficiaries of which are limited to an individual, a husband and wife, or the lineal descendants of a the husband and wife, or either of them, or to a partnership organized for the purpose of holding title to a Condominium Unit and the partners of which are an individual or husband and wife."

That's a statement from the "comic-sans-riddled" official website of Casa Di Amici, the association that adopted the controversial policy as of July 31, 2013. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that, according to 10 News Tampa Bay, the policy is completely legal under Florida Law.

Casa di Amici SocialJulia Nowak, an openly-gay realtor who rents a condo in the complex to her elderly parents, discovered the discriminatory policy after receiving a document from Casa Di Amici. "I could not believe what I was reading," she said, "it basically says you have to be either a single person or a husband and wife to purchase a unit here...I hope there is public outrage [that] people will discriminate in this day and age."

It is worth noting that this policy doesn't just discriminate against same-sex couples. Opposite-sex couples that aren't recognized as "traditionally married" are barred as well. 10 News reports that:

"The City of Venice has a domestic partnership ordinance that might have allowed Nowak to fight the new policy, but the condos with a Venice mailing address are actually in unincorporated Sarasota County, which doesn't have a human rights ordinance...the truth is unless the state of Florida passes a human rights ordinance or domestic partners live in an area with that type of ordinance, what they call discrimination is perfectly legal."

Florida is unfortunately one of many states in the U.S. that bans marriage equality as well as refusing to recognize any other sort of same-sex partnership, and has no laws in place to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment, or education. 

Posted Aug. 18,2013 at 3:27 PM EST by in Discrimination, Florida, LGBT Rights, News | Permalink | Comments (44)


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