Gay Rights Hub




Student Fired From University Job Last Year After Coming Out Says Things Have Changed: 'Life Is Absolutely Fantastic'

StephenlovegroveLast year, Stephen Lovegrove was fired from his position as a resident assistant at Charleston Southern University after coming out. He had been inspired by Macklemore's performance of "Same Love" at the 2013 VMA's to spread a message of acceptance as someone both gay and Christian; when the school found out about a series of videos he had created about the subject, he was subject to immediate discrimination. 

One year later and Stephen's quality of life is on the mend. 

GLAAD reports:

Earlier this week, Stephen sent GLAAD a one-year update, noting how much his life has changed for the better after leaving Charleston Southern University. He writes:

One year later, I am happy to report that my life is in a very different place. I am at a new university that is truly diverse, and absolutely loving it. Actually, I’m the director of Safe Zones, a program we have to create a more inclusive school for LGBTQ students. I also host a YouTube talk show and have spoken with lots of different guests about issues of sexuality and spirituality. Best of all, I get to volunteer with Human Rights Campaign in a program with a youth center helping homeless LGBTQ youth in my city. And I’m in talks for a new independent reality show portraying characters who are young queer individuals grappling with love and spirituality in their college years.

Life is absolutely fantastic. :D I am still speaking out about employment discrimination and other issues faced by the queer community. My story always gets people attention and helps them understand all the work that still needs to be done. We are all in this movement together.

MTV also did a follow-up interview with Stephen about his life now, the initiatives he feels passionately about, and his initial inspiration, "Same Love."

That song helped me believe that I could love another human being, that my love was good and real and equal to every other human being.

Here's to a bright future!


Ecuador to Officially Recognize Same-Sex Unions

Correa

Following a meeting with LGBT advocates last week, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has announced that same-sex couples will have the option of having their relationship officially recognized by the government. 

MapTelesur reports:

"The LGBT community have the constitutional right to register on their union," Correa said during his weekly report.

Previously, the Ecuadoran Civil Registry did not recognize these unions because they had no legal status according to law, however Correa said that from now on this right has to be respected and if denied, the authorities will take action on the matter.

Correa, however, maintained that he is still opposed to same-sex marriage. 


16-Year-Old Scottish Lesbian Takes On Westboro Baptist Church In Musical Parody: VIDEO

RebeccaAnderson

Rebecca Anderson's thick Scottish accent may be unintelligible for some, but her singing rings out loud and clear. The 16-year-old out lesbian has made a parody of a parody; in July, hate-mongers at the Westboro Baptist Church created their own remake of Panic! At the Disco's "I Write Sings, Not Tragedies," titling their's, "You Love Sin What a Tragedy." Rebecca "was so repulsed," according to Buzzfeed, that she decided to fire back with "Your Beliefs Are A Lie, What A Tragedy." Tragedies abound, but Ms. Anderson's vivacious personality and demand for respect remain strong. 

Head over to Buzzfeed to read the lyrics.

And check out the activist-singer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "16-Year-Old Scottish Lesbian Takes On Westboro Baptist Church In Musical Parody: VIDEO" »


Ugandan Archbishop On Anti-Gay Violence: 'Homosexuals Are Also Human Beings'

Odama

Ugandan Archbishop John Baptist Odama has reportedly spoken out about the plight of homosexuals in his home country, according to Metro Weekly. Following the overturning of Uganda's controversial anti-gay bill, many Ugandans are eager to move forward on further discriminatory legislation. The archbishop supports such an initiative, but recently told The Daily Reporter:

“People should not take the laws into their hands and harm homosexuals, since they are also human beings though with different sexual feelings.”

It is encouraging that a public official should speak out vehemently against anti-LGBT violence, though his support for a a new anti-gay bill counteracts much of the good will. 


Patti Lupone And Sting Headline 'Uprising Of Love' Benefit Concert For Global Equality, In NYC On September 15th

UprisingOfLoveOn September 15th, producers Stephen Schwartz and Bruce Cohen will partner with the United Nations Foundation for "Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality." The concert, headlined by Broadway diva Patti Lupone and international superstar Sting, falls strategically around the UN General Assembly and Clinton Gobal Initiative and aims to raise awareness about the unfortunate state of affairs for many LGBTI-identified communities around the world. Proceeds from the event will go to Fueling the Frontlines, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice's 3-year, $20 million global LGBTI rights campaign.

The concert's website has more information:

At this unique moment in history, when we are seeing such rapid progress in the fight for equality in the West, we cannot be blind to appalling crimes against humanity elsewhere. Today in Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, and elsewhere, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people are facing harassment, abuse, and violence. In some countries, recent laws have deemed homosexuality punishable by death and the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.

THE MISSION:

1. To raise awareness among the international community of violence, discrimination, and atrocities committed against LGBTI people.

2. To support LGBTI people and communities in areas where safety and dignity is compromised through funds and solidarity.

3. To support and collaborate with LGBTI and human rights organizations concerned with these issues.

The concert will be scripted by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (of Milk and Tom Daley fame) and directed by Schele Williams (Motown the Musical). Among the members of the benefit's host committee are Julianne Moore, Lance Bass, Calpernia Addams, Chris Colfer, and Melissa Etheridge.

To learn more and buy tickets, check out the website.

We hope to see you at the Gershwin Theater on September 15th!


Same-Sex Couples In Mississippi Fight To Have Out-Of-State Marriages Recorded

MSflagThe Campaign for Southern Equality launched an action yesterday to have out-of-state marriages recorded in Mississippi. Same-sex couples from eight different counties tried to have their home state recognize the very real bonds of matrimony achieved elsewhere around the country, a difficult goal considering that Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban is still in place, along with their more recent religious-exemption-for-businesses legislation.

The Washington Blade reports:

Jennifer Pierce of Biloxi, who married her wife, Jena Pierce, in Connecticut last December, plan to try to record their marriage with the Harrison County Chancery Court in Gulfport.

“To us our marriage license is more than a piece of paper or even the state recognizing we are a legitimate couple,” Jennifer Pierce told the Blade, referring to their 6-year-old daughter Auna who began first grade last week. “It’s about the protection of the little girl who sees us as her parents and getting legally married was the first step of many we need to take towards the protection and well-being of our family.” 

Public support for same-sex marriage in Mississippi is likely very low, though several mayors have expressed that they have "no problem" with the ceremonies. Still, the Magnolia State represents a difficult block to tumble in the movement toward full marriage equality in the U.S.

“Couples are recording their marriage licenses to create a public record of their love and commitment,” said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “LGBT people in Mississippi and other Southern states simply cannot keep waiting for equality. There is an urgent need for legal protections for families and individuals in Mississippi, and so we are calling for laws to change as quickly as possible to ensure that, no matter what state you live in, you are treated as a full and equal citizen.”

Though the action's efficacy on the whole is unknown at this time, one couple did send out a celebratory tweet:

MSMarriage

Here's hoping that more of the appeals for recognition were heard and honored, and that Mississippi is on the path toward marriage equality.


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