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British Dance Council Considering Same-Sex Partner Competition Ban

Vernon_and_Irene_Castle2

The British Dance Council (BDC) will on Monday consider a proposal that would define a dance partnership as between “one man and one lady,” reports The Guardian.

The proposal is based on an argument that a two-man partnership has an unfair advantage over a mixed-sex pairing due to additional strength and stamina.

If the proposal is passed, John Church and his partner Alex Lewall will be banned from defending their UK Closed Championship, over-35 pre-championship title at the next championships later this month. The pair, who are both gay but not in a relationship, have been dancing together for four years.

Speaking to The Guardian, Church said:  

"It's a totally regressive step and as far as we are concerned it would be the end of our dancing careers. We don't want to be trailblazers, we aren't asking for special treatment, we just want to dance and to be judged solely on our dancing – not what sex we are."

If voted in, the new rule will state:

"This council recognises a partnership to be one man and one lady in all adult amateur and professional competitions and championships unless otherwise stated."

According to BDC president Bryan Allen, the change in the rules will not result in a ban on same-sex couples but mean there would be a category which was only open to mixed couples.

However, in dismissing the proposed rule change, Church said “dancing isn't about power, it's about technique, positioning, poise, presentation – physical strength doesn't come into it.”

A petition against the rule change, currently with almost 2,000 signatures, is available at Change.org.

Back in 2009, there was some controvery when a same-sex couple auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance.


Church Of England Votes to Allow Female Bishops: VIDEO

England

The Church of England yesterday announced that it has voted to allow female bishops, reports Yahoo! News.

Justin_Welby_at_Seoul_CathedralThe General Synod’s vote reached the required two-thirds majority in each of its three different houses. 351 members approved of the move, 72 voted against and ten abstained.

Welcoming the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called for tolerance and love for traditionalists who disagree with the decision.  Although it took almost 20 years for the first women priests to be ordained after the synod said it had no fundamental objections in 1975, Welby said that he expects the first woman bishop by next year.

However, many opponents have argued that allowing women into such a senior position in the church goes against the Bible.

Although there are no out gay bishops in the U.K., the Church of England announced last year that it will allow celibate gay men in civil partnerships to become bishops.

Watch an Associated Press report on the vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Church Of England Votes to Allow Female Bishops: VIDEO" »


Lesbian Journalist Julie Bindel Says Sexual Orientation Is a Choice

In her new book Straight Expectations, Julie Bindel argues that sexual orientation is a choice.  The journalist, campaigner, and feminist also says that people believe that they are born gay because of “internalised doctrine.”

BindelIn an interview in today’s Independent, Bindel also argues that there is no biological explanation for homosexuality and that there “has to be some kind of choice, as well as some deep-rooted, embedded responses that developed through different experiences in our childhood.”

Bindel, who with her partner co-founded Justice for Women which campaigns for female victims of domestic violence, says that her arguments regarding the causes of homosexuality have been “drowned out” by obsessed scientists and by those who use the gay gene argument to provoke sympathy.

Asked how and why people would choose to be gay in countries with oppressive anti-homosexuality laws, Bindel says:

“I don’t know.  All I know is I’ve never been convinced by a scientific argument, or seen any evidence that is compelling that there is something innate about our sexuality. What I’m suggesting is, there are people who could go one way or the other and happily choose to be lesbian or gay.”

However, writing in The Independent, Patrick Strudwick says that Bindel claims that she herself did not make that choice:

“Because I needed to leave home – there was nothing there for me in Darlington – and pursue my feminist possibilities, that meant starting a new life and all that was open to me. I fell in with a crowd [in Leeds] who spoke about lesbianism as part of women’s liberation. I never chose to be attracted to women.”

Strudwick also claims that what Bindel means by sexual preference being a choice is actually making a decision “to have a gay relationship, identify as gay, come out and lead a gay life (whatever that is).”

(image via twitter)


Bisexual Asylum Seeker Avoids Deportation To Jamaica - VIDEO

Oraisha edwards

Orashia Edwards, a bisexual Jamaican man who says he faces danger in his native country because of his sexuality, learned on Tuesday that he will not be deported from the U.K.

Homophobia remains a major issue in Jamaican society.

The case for a judicial review of Home Secretary Theresa May's decision was thrown out by a judge in Leeds.

In his written judgement, Judge Clive Heaton QC said that Edwards was being dishonest about his sexuality.

According to Pink News, Edwards has been living in the U.K. for four years along with the rest of his family. He has a one-year-old daughter. Mr Edwards has not been in Jamaica for 14 years.

Speaking to the BBC after the verdict, Edwards said:

"This is my home, I feel safe here, my family and friends are here. I can't go back to Jamaica."

In a press release, activist organization Leeds For Change, which has claimed Home Office decisions behind asylum are prejudiced against LGBT applicants, said it “won’t stop fighting for Orashia to stay here in Leeds with us, his family and the LGBT community. An application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Orashia will be issued shortly.”

All claims of bias in asylum applications have been denied by the government.

Edwards learned Tuesday that he will now not be deported from the U.K. A spokesperson from the Home Office refused to comment on the change in its decision.

Edwards is today in court submitting new evidence.

Watch State Of Limbo, a short documentary about the Edwards case, and a follow-up interview prior to the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bisexual Asylum Seeker Avoids Deportation To Jamaica - VIDEO" »


'Star Wars' Actor Sir Alec Guinness Begged Ian McKellen Not To Speak About Anything ‘As Dirty As Homosexuality’

Ian mckellen says alec guinness was a self loathing bisexual

Speaking at a June 25 gala dinner for LGBTI Pride hosted by London’s Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, Ian McKellen said that Star Wars actor Sir Alec Guinness begged him not to campaign for gay rights.

In a recent interview alongside Patrick Stewart with British TV's Channel 4, McKellen compared the mutants in the X-Men movies to gays, black people and Jews treated harshly by “a society that doesn’t completely understand them.”

Guinness, who is probably best known for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, is reported to have had male partners and to have been arrested in 1946 for a public sex act, despite being married.

Speaking at the historic event, held for the first time in the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, McKellen alluded to his fellow actor’s bisexuality:

“Alec Guinness took me out to lunch and said: ‘You really should not, as a leading actor, have anything to do with anything political, especially anything as dirty as homosexuality. I beg you not to do it.’ That was self-hatred.”

McKellen also said that his wish for the future is for a professional British soccer player to come out as gay, adding: “My preference is that he is cute.”

Woolf, who is only the second female Lord Mayor of London since 1189, has dedicated her year in office to promoting diversity. Speaking about the historic significance of an LGBTI dinner being held in Mansion House, she said:

“This is a clear statement of intent by the mayoralty and the City of London Corporation. Our responsibility is to capture the benefits of diversity for the city and for business. The business case is clear and the moral case is obvious. To be yourself and not someone you are not is a human right.”

Eurovisioner winner Conchita Wurst will headline the main Pride event in London's Trafalgar Square tomorrow.

Watch the Channel 4 interview with McKellen and Stewart, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Star Wars' Actor Sir Alec Guinness Begged Ian McKellen Not To Speak About Anything ‘As Dirty As Homosexuality’" »


Isle of Man: Overseas Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized As Civil Partnerships

Isle of man to recognize overseas same sex marriage as civil partnerships

The Isle of Man, a British crown dependency, is to treat overseas same-sex marriages as civil partnerships. As a crown dependency - self-governing possessions of the British crown - the Isle of Man maintains full autonomy.

Although same-sex marriage is legal in England and Wales, and will be introduced in Scotland later this year, it is still illegal in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and Northern Ireland.

According to Manx Policy and Reform Minister Chris Robertshaw, overseas same-sex marriages should be recognised only as civil partnerships.

Robertshaw added that fifty relationships from other countries - including domestic partnerships in some U.S. states and civil partnerships in Ireland and Jersey - will be treated as civil partnerships.

Representative Zac Hall raised concerns that the list included relationships which were not as formal as a civil partnership. Hall has asked for the list to be withdrawn for further examination.


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