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Scotland Hosts UK's First Pagan Same-Sex Wedding

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The first pagan same-sex wedding in the United Kingdom took place in Edinburgh, Scotland last Sunday, reports LGBTQ Nation.

Scotland pagan weddingTom Lanting and Iain Robertson (both aged 34) have been together for 12 years. Both are Hedge Witches.

They were married in the 16th century cellars of Marlin’s Wynd (right) in Edinburgh's historic Old Town by Pagan Federation (Scotland) Presiding Officer Louise Park.

The ceremony included a number of Pagan traditions: casting a circle; invoking the elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit; sharing a quaich of mead; handfasting; and jumping the broom.

The Pagan Federation - the largest umbrella group supporting the Pagan community in Scotland - has legally solemnized hundreds of same-sex marriages since 2005.


Irish Labour Party Member Dominic Hannigan Reveals He Got Married In London On New Year's Eve

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Openly gay Labour Party TD (Teachta Dála) member Dominic Hannigan revealed that he married his partner of two decades, Chris, on New Year's Eve in London reports Irish NewsHannigan is the first deputy to disclose a same-sex marriage and the announcement comes ahead of a referendum in Ireland on the issue of same-sex marriage set to occur in May. Hannigan told TheJournal.ie that the process of marriage in London was rather simple.

Said Hannigan:

"The marriage was just the two of us. Because we were in a civil partnership it was very straightforward, paying four quid and signing some papers.

"There was no cake or anything. The wedding was a very straightforward exchange of papers. When we had our civil partnership ceremony we did a cake and all that kind of stuff. That was the event if you like."

Hannigan decided not to let his marriage hinge on Ireland's referendum decision, and took the opportunity to marry in London although he wishes that they could've held it in Ireland. On Sunday, Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar came out to the public and Hannigan congratulated him on it.

Said Hannigan:

"Leo will be a very positive role model for them. It will help kids to come to terms with themselves. It will make a lot of people much happier in themselves and it will lead to better mental health.

"When you have made the decision to come out, that it what you have to do. There is no point in doing it on a small scale – get it done and dusted and then it ceases to be an issue."

Hannigan publicly came out 10 years ago when he was a local councillor. Although Hannigan believes Varadkar's recent announcement helps the cause for same-marriage, there are other challenges in getting marriage equality in Ireland. Hannigan warns that complacency is the main enemy in the referendum on marriage in May, and getting complacent voters to the polls presents a unique challenge.

Said Hannigan:

"It will be a very difficult referendum to win. The enemy is complacency. No doubt, family and friends of the LGBT community will come out in force.

"But my worry is that people who do not know many people affected, getting them out to vote might be difficult."


MI5 Makes Stonewall's Top 10 List of Best British Workplaces For Gay Employees

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Just in time for the 15th anniversary of MI5’s decision to allow gay people into its ranks, the British intelligence agency has been named as one of the top 10 gay-friendly employers in the UK. The British Army, Navy and the Royal Air Force were also included in Stonewall’s annual equality index.

“It represents incredibly significant progress in a very short time,” said Stonewall spokesman Richard Lane. “I wouldn’t say I am entirely surprised by it though, because the Armed Forces have been working very hard to change the culture of their organisations. They have realised the importance of recruiting the best people for the job, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

 


'Gay People Shouldn't Have Babies', Grocery Cashier Tells Shocked Couple

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UK supermarket chain Tesco has apologised after an employee allegedly told a lesbian couple that gay people “shouldn’t have babies,” reports Pink News.

The incident occurred in Surrey Quays mall in east London on January 3rd.

A cashier at the supermarket is alleged to have made the comments to Natalie Rivans and her girlfriend Helen Embleton about a pregnant woman in the queue in front of them, saying “it’s wrong - gay people shouldn’t have babies.”

When Rivans challenged the employee, she was told “it’s a free country so I can say what I like.”

On the incident, Rivans said:

“I’ve been out and gay for a long time however my partner not so much. This has really upset and stressed her out.

“I’m thoroughly disappointed [and I] feel as though the LGBT family need to know about this.”

According to spokesperson for Tesco, an internal investigation is now underway.

Back in 2013, Tesco caused a storm when it pulled an inflatable gay best friend from its website. The product had been listed with the term "gay" (censored "g*y") and was suggested for recipients between the ages of 3 and 4 years old, although its description deemed it appropriate for bachelorette parties.


New Diversity Initiative From British Channel 4 Tackles Need For LGBT Minority Representation In Television

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A new diversity charter put into effect by the British Channel 4 will require that the channel become significantly more diverse in both its staffing and programming by 2020. Going forward scripting shows that air on Channel four will have to prominently feature characters that are women, Black, Asian, minority, or other ethnicity (BAME) according to the organization’s new diversity guidelines.

20 percent of Channel 4’s staff will be required to be BAME and 6 percent of its workforce will have to be LGBT identified. The new guidelines are a part of a larger effort to ensure that Channel 4 more accurately reflects “the experiences of under-represented groups” in Britain, whose population is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnic background, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The new rules also call for similar boosts in on-screen characters and staff who are differently abled.

Executives who are currently in position to make hires and craft casts to meet the new guidelines will be held accountable for their compliance. The annual bonuses to company executives are now tied directly to their efforts at maintaining Channel 4’s diversity standards.

The new initiative was drafted by Oona King, a former member of Parliament under the British Labour Party who now serves as Channel 4’s head of diversity. King championed the proposal after seeing that the numbers of women and minorities working in British television had plummeted in the past five years, despite other pushes for diversity. According to King, other plans had failed primarily because there were little to no financial incentives (or repercussions) in place.

“It will be a black mark against that person,” said Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham. “It is positive action, not positive discrimination.”


Gay Couple Evicted From Uber Cab For 'Kissing And Cuddling': VIDEO

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A gay couple in London, England say they were thrown out of an Uber cab for kissing and cuddling, reports ITV.com.

O-UBER-facebookJordan Sloan claims that on New Year’s Day, the cab driver “pulled over and told us to get out.”

After evicting Sloan and his partner Corey Watts, the driver allegedly said "I take gays but they don't normally do this."

Toronto native Sloan said:

"I've never had any homophobic stuff happen to me so I was caught off guard. You don't expect it to happen in one of the world's biggest cities. I wanted to understand what he was thinking so I asked the driver: 'Would you do the same thing if it was a guy and a girl?'"

In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said:

“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination either by our partner drivers or towards our partner drivers.

"We opened an investigation from the moment we learned of this unacceptable incident and have been in contact with the rider to extended our sincere apologies and get further information."

The couple were charged for their journey but later refunded.  

The cab driver has been suspended while the incident is under investigation.

Although Watts has received mostly messages of support on Twitter, some of the feedback - including Uber driver @PhDCab - was less than enlightened.

Last April, an Uber drive in Paris, France was fired for refusing to pick up two gay customers.

In July, Uber provided 8 lucky couples spontaneous weddings in San Francisco in celebration of the city's Pride event and marriage equality. 

Watch a video of Uber's San Francisco wedding celebration, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couple Evicted From Uber Cab For 'Kissing And Cuddling': VIDEO" »


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