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St. Louis Musician Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Discriminated Against Because His Partner is a Black Man

CgmedMusician and teacher James Mounsey has sued the St. Louis Irish Arts Center (SLIA), citing discrimination. Specifically, the suit says “defendants began to discriminate against [Mounsey]...because his partner is a black man.”

The SLIA is an official member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the international organization that promotes traditional Irish arts and culture. Mounsey's lawsuit points to the rules of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which he claims were violated by other SLIA employees, who undermined and discriminated against him on the basis of his same-sex relationship.

Specifically implicated in the lawsuit is SLIA director Helen Gannon. Mounsey says Gannon once told him: “you [Mounsey] have made some grave decisions very, very quickly which will affect every aspect of your life flaunting them and forcing us to accept them which will have consequences out of your control.”

Gannon denies having made these statements, saying “teachers were discouraged from bringing dates to work,“ but that otherwise, Mounsey's claims are false.

With his lawsuit, Mounsey has provided a letter he sent to Gannon, resigning due to a "discriminatory atmosphere" in the workplace. In December 2013, while on a trip to his native Ireland, Mounsey was told via letter that he was "no longer affiliated with SLIA."

[h/t Irish Central]


Amnesty International 'Disappointed' In Ireland's Current Draft of Trans Bill

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Amnesty International and LGBT activists in Ireland are disappointed in the current draft of a new bill that recognizes transgender identities, but requires them to jump through several bureaucratic hoops just to do so reports Pink News. If passed, the bill will legally recognize transgender identities in dealings with the State, public bodies, civil and commercial society. AI and LGBT activists are grateful that the Irish government is attempting to validate transgender identities however, the process to do so is rather harmful.

The bill forces married transgender people to divorce in order to gain gender recognition, in accordance with the country’s ban on same-sex marriage. Additionally while the bill allows for 16 and 17-year-olds to obtain legal gender recognition, they require a court order and parental consent to do so, which campaigners warn could cause further harm. Denis Krivosheev of AI believes the bill needs heavy revision.

Said Krivosheev:

Krivosheev"This bill will require substantial changes if it is to tackle the serious issue of discrimination against transgender people. Rather than making it as easy as possible for all transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their identity, there are several groups that will be short-changed by the bill – in particular those who are married or in civil partnerships, minors, and those who do not wish to undergo medical treatment.

"The bill completely overlooks the needs of those who may wish to remain married, or who are going through divorce proceedings, while obtaining legal recognition of their gender. This is a violation of their human rights.

"Instead, the bill cruelly forces transgender people to separate from their loved one – and then spend years in limbo without either a partner or the legal recognition of their identity."

Meanwhile, the Irish government has announced that a referendum on same-sex marriage will take place next May. 


Benjy The Gay Bull May Have Found True Love: VIDEO

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Benjy the gay bull (above left) may have found himself a boyfriend at an animal sanctuary in England, reports NY Daily News.

Benjy made headlines around the world this month when an animal rights group in Ireland started a campaign to save the bull from the slaughterhouse. John Kelly, a farmer in County Mayo, Ireland bought the bull for breeding last year but was left disappointed when he realised that Benjy is more interested in other bulls.

Many donations were made to save Benjy but his final transfer to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary was made possible by a donation from Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons.

Within minutes of arriving at the sanctuary earlier this month, Benjy befriended 1-year-old bullock Alex (above right).

 

However, the romance is likely to be short-lived as Benjy is due to be castrated as per sanctuary protocols.

The sanctuary wrote on Facebook that although they are not certain that Benjy is gay, "the fact that somebody thought he was has certainly saved his life!"

Watch an independent.ie report on Benjy's arrival at Hillside, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Benjy The Gay Bull May Have Found True Love: VIDEO" »


Ireland To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage In May - VIDEO

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The Irish government yesterday announced that a referendum on same-sex marriage will take place in May 2015, reports The Journal.

Although an exact date has not yet been set, it is thought the vote may be held in the first week of the month.

Calling for a respectful campaign from all sides, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said her officials would now begin work on the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment.

A recent Irish Times poll found that 71 percent of people intend to vote in favor of gay marriage.

Welcoming the announcement, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network chair Kieran Rose said:

“We do not take the outcome of the referendum for granted. Despite the strong support in the polls currently, we know that we will need every single possible vote on the day in order to win the referendum.”

Backed by government parties, the referendum was announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Kenny made headlines this month when he visited Dublin's Pantibar for Christmas drinks.

In what was seen as an opening salvo on what is likely to be a highly divisive campaign, the Catholic church in Ireland has released a manifesto outlining its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Watch Armagayddon, a video about absolute horror of marriage equality reaching Ireland, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ireland To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage In May - VIDEO" »


Benjy The Gay Bull Finds Sanctuary At Last - VIDEO

Benjy the gay bull

Benjy the gay bull arrived at an animal sanctuary in the U.K. last weekend after activists in Ireland started a campaign to save him from the slaughterhouse, reports The Advocate.

John Kelly, a farmer in County Mayo, Ireland bought the bull for breeding last year but was left disappointed when he he realised that Benjy is more interested in other bulls.

However, when Dublin-based Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) highlighted Benjy’s plight, The UK launched a crowdfunding campaign to save his life.

Many donations were made to save Benjy but his final transfer to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary was made possible by a donation from Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons

In a statement, Simon said:

"It thrills me to help [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] and ARAN make Benjy’s fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich.

"PETA told me about Benjy, and I felt compelled to help. All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he’s gay would’ve been a double tragedy."

Kelly said he has learned a lot about "compassion for the bull" and "the concept of homosexuality." He added that Benjy's sexuality is "a part of nature."

Hillside farmer John Watson told the Irish Sunday Independent that Benjy will be castrated on arrival “because we want to rescue animals in need, not breed them and fill up the sanctuary.”

Watch an Independent.ie report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Benjy The Gay Bull Finds Sanctuary At Last - VIDEO" »


Ireland Launches Nationwide 'Stop LGBT Hate Crime' Campaign - LISTEN

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Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has launched the “Stop LGBT Hate Crime” campaign which encourages people to report LGBT hate crimes and incidents directly to police and to log incidents they witness or experience at the campaign website.

The ‘Stop LGBT Hate Crime’ campaign also highlights support services available for LGBT people who experience harassment or violence, reports Breaking News.

It is estimated that one third of Irish LGBT people have been physically or sexually attacked while half have been harassed in the last five years. However, only 17 homophobic incidents were registered with the police in 2013.

At the launch of the campaign, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality Aodhan Ó Ríordáin TD said:

Nathalie"No one should ever feel threatened or at risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. If someone does feel that they are a victim of LGBT hate crime, or indeed any hate crime, then it is imperative that they report this matter to the Gardaí [police].

"It is only when we record these incidents and have an accurate data map of when, how and where they happen that we can effectively tackle this issue.”

Nathalie Weadick, co-chair of GLEN, said:

“There has been great progress in Ireland for LGBT people over the last decade. However, despite this progress, LGBT people are still experience alarming levels of violence and harassment, simply because of who they are.

“Fear, self-censorship and excessive caution should not be part of the daily reality for many LGBT people. Whether at school, at home or in public, LGBT people should be able go about their daily lives with the same sense of security that others enjoy.

“Our aim is for an Ireland where a lesbian or gay couple can walk, hand-in-hand, without fear, down the main street of any town in Ireland, like any other couple. This campaign is a further step towards that goal."

Ireland is expected to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in April or May of next year. Irish voters have been encouraged to register to vote prior to the referendum by public figures including Colin Farrell and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Listen to an interview with Craig Dwyer, GLEN Policy and Projects Officer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ireland Launches Nationwide 'Stop LGBT Hate Crime' Campaign - LISTEN" »


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