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Over 100 Tech Leaders Call for Nationwide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections: LIST

Tech

The list of technology industry leaders calling for nationwide protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity continues to grow, HRC reports.

“The unified message from these business leaders is clear: Pass LGBT non-discrimination protections and pass them now,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Until legislators finally step up to the plate and take action, this issue is not going to go away. It’s time for elected officials to listen to the overwhelming voice of fair-minded Americans demanding equality for their LGBT loved ones, friends, and neighbors. No American should risk losing their job, be denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are or whom they love.”

New recent cosigners of the call to action include leaders from YouTube, AppNexus, Coupons.com, Consumer Electronics Association, Hotsuite, Google, Uber Technologies, Intuit, Facebook, GoPro, Cisco, Pinterest, Pandora Media, Yahoo!, Logitech, and many others companies.

Read the full updated list of leaders and the full statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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New York Corrections Officer Resigns After Threatening To Shoot Gay Neighbors

Cheektowaga

A New York part-time prisoner cell block attendant who was arrested following a Facebook exchange with family and friends that included threats to shoot gay people has since resigned from his job, reports the Buffalo News.

Richard “Rick” Pilarski Jr. resigned from the Cheektowaga Police Department last Saturday after he acknowledged the Facebook exchange which was spurred by a news account about California’s proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act” ballot which calls on the death penalty for gay men and women who are sexually active.

One of the offending comments read:

“Wouldn’t this be the greatest thing in the world??? The guys around the corner would be the first 2 faggots in my sights. What you do in your house is one thing but when you fly flags of equal rights and the rainbow flag in a small quiet neighborhood is another.”

Pilarski replied to a relative for sticking up for gay people:

“... shut up you sound like a retard u wana love gays u love them I hate them. I’m not raising my kids to love them if you wana raise your to then go ahead.”

Assistant Police Chief James J. Speyer confirmed:

“We brought him in today and he decided to resign from the position. He was remorseful and apologetic. It is one of those situations where he never intended it to be something that would come out...It should never have happened. We don’t condone it. The Cheektowaga Police Department stands for integrity, honor and respect.”

33-year-old Pilarski was also placed on administrative leave from his job as full-time state corrections officer at Attica Correctional Facility. His Facebook profile has since been deleted.


Gay Couple Pen Adorable Meghan Trainor Parody 'Dear Future Baby' to Highlight Adoption Efforts: WATCH

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Minneapolis couple Joe Morales and Joey Famoso have experienced a tough road on the way to adoption, with their latest attempt to adopt a baby girl falling through at the last second. Instead of dwelling on the heartache of their situation, the two created a viral parody video set to Meghan Trainor’s song "Dear Future Husband," called "Dear Future Baby" - an ode to their future baby boy or girl. The couple wrote and sang the song together to share their message with the world and shared  why they wrote the song with TODAY Parents 

Said Morales:

"We wanted to do something different that stood out, but also showed our personalities. We were very intentional about the words used in the song to illustrate the type of dads we will be. There are so many great families for a birthmother to choose, and by doing this, we hope to be one of the top on her list."

Although the Internet has already generated potential leads for the couple, they’re aware that a lot can happen in the adoption process before they’re connected to a baby. However, the couple remains hopeful after all the support they’ve received from the online community; even Meghan Trainor commented on the parody in On Air with Ryan Seacrest, calling the parody "the cutest thing ever - I’m gonna tweet it."

The couple also has an informational site through their adoption agency and a group page devoted to their adoption efforts on Facebook.

Watch the two sing about what their future baby’s life will be like with them, and the sweet things they’ll do for their baby, AFTER THE JUMP

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Facebook Expands Custom Gender Identity Options Even Further

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Beginning today Facebook users will be able to describe their gender using whatever kind of personal language they feel the most comfortable with. The move comes after an increased demand from the public for Facebook to allow people to choose from a wider array of gender descriptors in their “About Me” sections. Last year Facebook took a major step forward by expanding its list of selectable genders from three (male, female, or none) to over 50 terms including male to female, gender queer, and cisgender.

“Facebook’s new free-form field for gender identity is a huge step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender queer youth,” said GLSEN Executive Director

Dr. Eliza Byard, “The internet is an essential source of resources, support and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, and one of its most important ‘living rooms’ now better reflects their reality and self-understanding."

Speaking to Motherboard, Facebook engineer Ari Chivukula explained that the company deployed a special team focused specifically on buffing out the social network’s expanded gender settings. Moving forward users will be able to more finely customize their privacy settings to better control who sees their gender displayed on their profiles.


Gay Couple Again Barred From Marrying In Baja, Mexico After Complaint Alleges They 'Suffer From Madness'

Couple

After a complaint alleging they "suffer from madness," a gay couple was again barred from marrying in Baja Caiifornia, Mexico. 

Victor Manuel Aguirrre and Fernando Urias (above) have been attempting to become the first same-sex couple to marry in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California state, since June 2013 — and a year later they obtained a favorable ruling from the Mexican Supreme Court that for now applies only to them. 

Two months ago, Mexicali officials cited a paperwork error in refusing to perform a civil ceremony for the couple. On Saturday, Aguirrre and Urias were again scheduled for a ceremony at Mexicali City Hall.

LadyBut the anti-gay activist who gives mandatory premarital talks for same-sex couples refused to certify their attendance on Thursday (right), before lodging a formal complaint. 

The U-T San Diego reports: 

Saturday’s ceremony had been on the civil registry’s calendar for weeks. Hours after a spokesman for the city had confirmed early in the day that the wedding would take place, a top city official said the event had been canceled due to a complaint that the two men “suffer from madness.”

The accuser was Angelica Guadalupe Gonzalez Sanchez, president of the Coalition of Baja California Families, who with her husband gives mandatory pre-marital talks to couples preparing for civil wedding ceremonies at Mexicali City Hall.

In her complaint, Gonzalez said the pair had been “aggressive and impertinent” on Thursday after she refused to certify their attendance in her talk, and her husband told them that the sessions were intended for heterosexual couples.

MasksAfter Aguirrre and Urias arrived at City Hall, the doors were locked and they were met by anti-gay protesters donning surgical masks saying "only a man and a woman." But the couple remains undeterred, the newspaper reports:   

“Of course, we are going to continue to try,” Aguirre said as he stood outside City Hall.

“One day, their tricks will end, and we will never get tired of trying,” said Urias.

Same-sex marriages have been performed in Mexico since 2010, when Mexico City revised its civil code, and a state legislature followed suit last year in the state of Coahuila. But in most of Mexico, individual couples have been waging battles through the court system.

In response to the latest denial, Mexican actor Feilpe Najera launched the social media hashtag #MisDerechosNoSonLocura, or "my rights are not madness." There's also a Facebook page dedicated to the cause. 

Watch a video of the anti-gay activist refusing to certify the couple's attendance at the premarital talk, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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RuPaul Dishes on Tim Cook, Facebook, and the Queerer Parts of Silicon Valley

RupaulIt’s not often that one thinks of RuPaul as being jacked into the tech-bubble, but the reigning queen of all things drag recently sat down with Engadget’s Joseph Volpe to gab about some of the queerer parts of Silicon Valley. More broadly RuPaul shared his thoughts Facebook’s algorithmic deletion of drag queens, ‘Drag Race’s' dependence on online streaming, and the significance of Tim Cook’s coming out.

“You know, people talk about equality in our culture, and it's based on a kindergarten primary idea of what fairness and equality is,” RuPaul said of Cook’s recent announcement. “But it doesn't get updated as we get older.”

Ru continued:

“You know, [if] somebody who's straight behaves a certain way, nobody bats an eyelash. But if a gay person does the exact same thing, people are like, "Oh my god. It's revolutionary!" [But] it's the exact same thing! And the same is true in any business. Gender plays a huge role in how we see people, how we interpret what they say, whether we know it or not. Most people don't know it. So I applaud him. I think, "Right on!"

Ru also shared his thoughts on "gaymers," and his new mobile game Dragopolis. You can check out the full interview here


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