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International Olympic Committee Proposes End To Anti-Gay Discrimination - READ

Sochi

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a proposal to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination language in Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, reports The Advocate.

The IOC received criticism from LGBT advocacy groups for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, given the country’s national law against “gay propaganda”. During the the games, the IOC appeared to defend the arrests and beating of LGBT activists.

Principle 6 currently states:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Supporting the proposal, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:

“No athlete or fan should face fear of discrimination because of who they love. The International Olympic Committee must seize this opportunity to protect Olympic attendees and affirm its commitment to equality across the globe.”

The IOC will vote on this and 39 other proposed amendments in December.

Read the full report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NOM Is Near Death: HRC Reports Lack Of Funding And Support Crippling The Organization

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 1.12.17 PMThe Human Rights Campaign issued a press release today that contained results from a study they conducted on the National Organization for Marriage's funding and found the organization is rapidly losing support. HRC examined NOM's tax filings from 2013 and found that the organization's funding for the year dropped a whopping 50 percent from 2012, raising only $5.1 million in funds this year. Only two donors account for donating half of those funds alone, which indicates NOM's support base merely consists of a very few wealthy people and a minuscule amount of the general public.

The NOM Education Fund also dropped nearly $3.5 million in funding; a drop of almost 70 percent since the previous year. NOM ended the year more than $2.5 million in debt. Fred Sainz, the HRC Vice President of Communications, urges NOM to give up the ghost already.

Said Sainz:

“If I were Brian Brown, I’d be worried that my two or three mega-donors are soon going to come to terms with the fact that they’d largely be better off flushing money down the toilet.  Americans certainly aren’t buying what NOM is selling, and it’s only a matter of time before the trickle of money keeping the lights on at NOM HQ dries up.”

NOM fought to keep their 2013 990s secret however, HRC made an in-person request for the public financial documents on Monday morning and again Tuesday – in both instances, NOM didn't produce the documents. Federal law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. HRC filed a complaint with the IRS in order to force NOM to abide by the law. 

Within the last year NOM suffered crippling blows to its core purpose and mission with the number of states allowing gay marriage jumping from 15 to 33 states, with 62 percent of the nation's population living in states that allow same-sex marriage. Both Democratic and Republican appointed judges are striking down marriage bans and the Supreme Court of the United States judges decreed that federal court rulings granting marriage rights to same-sex couples to become the law of the land in 11 states in the last two years: California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Recent poll results show that NOM’s radical and exclusionary brand of anti-LGBT rhetoric is falling on deaf ears. An HRC survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted June 6-10 this year by Republican pollster Alex Lundry of TargetPoint Consulting, found that the number of Americans strongly opposed to national marriage equality dropped to 28 percent. Of the people polled, only three percent would challenge the Supreme Court of the United States judges if they struck down marriage bans across the country.

NOM President Brian Brown, realizing his organization is becoming obsolete in the states, took his rhetoric to Russia to support a bill – now law – banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples or parents living in countries where marriage equality is legal. Although Brown would experience success in Russia, NOM's death knell is ringing loud and clear here in the states, but the organization continues to shuffle on like an undead zombie; aimless and spouting incoherent nonsense. 


Kansas Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriage In At Least One More County

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07a7cca5970d-250wiEarlier today, we told you about the chaos and confusion that pervades the state of Kansas on the question of the legality of same-sex marriage. Now, a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court has this evening further complicated matters, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Johnson County but not necessarily the rest of the state. Just exactly how far reaching the court's ruling will be depends largely on how judges throughout the state will interpret it. From the Kansas City Star:

The decision means Johnson County will join a handful of Kansas jurisdictions where marriage licenses can be issued to same-sex couples. At least two such couples are expected to seek the licenses Wednesday, supporters of same-sex marriage said.

But the ruling eventually might be expanded beyond Johnson County. The court said other Kansas judges were free to reach the same conclusion as [Judge] Moriarty [who in October authorized the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kansas] — language that might convince other judges to order the licenses in their courthouses...

The Kansas Supreme Court did not determine whether the Kansas ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional. Instead, the court said it wouldn't decide until after the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue.

You can read the court's order HERE


Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen and Transgender Son Speak Out in CBS Miami Interview: VIDEO

Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL.) disclosed in an interview with CBS Miami last night that her views have changed on LGBT people after coming to terms with her transgender son's transition Mediaite reports.

Watch Ros-Lehtinen and her son's interview with CBS Miami, AFTER THE JUMP...

RoslehtinenHer son Rodrigo, born Amanda, started the transition process in 2007, and he officially went public with his identity in the interview that aired last night. Ros-Lehtinen is 100 percent supportive of her son's decision.

Said Ros-Lehtinen:

“As parents we wanted to make sure Rigo understood we were totally fine with it. We wanted to make sure he was safe. Our society is sometimes not inviting and not caring enough and there is no mystery that LGBT kids when they are younger are bullied."

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen originally voted for the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996, but she is the only Republican to vote for its repeal. Although Rodrigo's mother is a part of a political party that aims to derail LGBT rights, Lehtinen's son loves her dearly.

Rodrigo

Said Rodrigo:

“I think she’s genuinely a good person, she may be Republican and I may not be, but she cares about people enough and the tide of history is going so much in that direction.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also gave advice on how parents should react to their children coming out to them. Fortunately, none of her suggestions included conversion therapy as a solution, which some members of her party support.

Said Ros-Lehtinen:

“Don’t freak out, stay calm and don’t be afraid. Love your child because that person is your child whether it’s the person you wanted him or her to be or not. That’s my advice to parents, never, never reject your child. That’s unconditional love no matter what.”

Watch Ros-Lehtinen and her son's interview with CBS Miami, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen and Transgender Son Speak Out in CBS Miami Interview: VIDEO" »


Russia Levies Charges Against LGBT Internet Support Group For 'Gay Propaganda'

Russia's persecution of LGBT citizens is spreading from the streets to cyberspace as the Russian government starts cracking down on LGBT affiliated websites reports Buzzfeed. The government has its eyes set on Children 404, a group page hosted on Facebook doppelgänger Vkontakte where LGBT Russian teens can discuss their sexuality with others and without fear of retaliation.

Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, commonly known by it's alternate name Roskomnadzor, is pressing charges against Children 404 founder and journalist Elena Klimova. A local branch of the agency is revealing the full charges levied against Klimova on Tuesday. Under the existing law Klimova's group can incur a fine of one million rubles ($21,000), and find itself forcibly shut down for 90 days.

Picture 2Modeled after America's "It Gets Better" campaign, the group came to fruition shortly before Russia passed its anti-gay laws last year. Users, which are mostly teenagers, share their stories on the site and have the opportunity to interact with up to 15 volunteer psychologists that offer professional counseling services. The name "Children 404” is a reference to the “Page Not Found,” error which is a commonly encountered server error.

Roskomnadzor only specified that they pursued the group after receiving 150 online complaints about the group. Klimova expressed her frustration with the agency's profiling of her and the website.

Said Klimova:

“Roskomnadzor says that it’s found homosexual propaganda, but instead of showing where I have forbidden materials, they’re writing that I just don’t have the special knowledge to publish them. It’s absurd!”

Anti-gay activists have targeted the group before including disrupting the filming of a documentary centered on the group with protests. Moscow prosecutors even went so far as to summon the directors of the film for questioning. A screening of the film in Vladivostok sparked controversy in September when minors managed to attend the film--the movie carries a rating of +18.


Colin Farrell Pleads with Irish People for Gay Equality in Emotional Letter About His Brother

Farrells

Colin Farrell writes about his gay brother Eamon in an open letter to the Irish people published in that country's Sunday World newspaper.Farrell has written about his brother before in support of an anti-bullying campaign in Ireland.

Writes Farrell in Sunday World:

I think I found out my brother wasn’t grovelling in heterosexual mud like most boys our age when I was around 12. I remember feeling surprised. Intrigued. Curious. Not bi-curious before you start getting ideas.

I was curious because it was different from anything I’d known or heard of and yet it didn’t seem unnatural to me. I had no reference for the existence of homosexuality. I had seen, by that age, no gay couples together. I just knew my brother liked men and, I repeat, it didn’t seem unnatural to me. My brother Eamon didn’t choose to be gay. Yes, he chose to wear eyeliner to school and that probably wasn’t the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies.

But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative. Even when others were casting him out with fists and ridicule and the laughter of pure loathsome derision, he maintained an integrity and dignity that flew in the face of the cruelty that befell him.

I don’t know where those bullies are now, the ones who beat him regularly. Maybe some of them have found peace and would rather forget their own part of a painful past. Maybe they’re sitting on bar stools and talking about “birds and faggots” and why one’s the cure and the other the disease.

But I do know where my brother is. He’s at home in Dublin living in peace and love with his husband of some years, Steven. They are about the healthiest and happiest couple I know. They had to travel a little farther than down the aisle to make their vows, though, to Canada, where their marriage was celebrated.

That’s why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE.

It’s time to right the scales of justice here. To sign up and register to vote next year so that each individual’s voice can be heard

How often do we get to make history in our lives? Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let’s lead toward light.

Farrell served as his brother's best man in his wedding in Canada in 2009, later celebrating the union in their home country.


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