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Meet Ireland's Heterophobic Cab Driver: VIDEO

Hailo

Ahead of Ireland's same-sex marriage referendum tomorrow, taxi service Hailo has released a hilarious video that aims to show what gay cab passengers often have to put up with.

In the clip, the Dublin driver takes a phone call from a colleague who complains about a straight couple "holding hands" in the cab. "Jaysus, if I'd knew they were straight before they got in I would have just sailed past them, Deco", he says.

To show just how ridiculous discrimination is, we created a little hidden camera prank… #DriveForEquality https://t.co/AKlaItiU97

— Hailo Ireland (@HailoIreland) May 19, 2015

The driver explains to a passenger "we don't normally take heteros in the car" although he has nothing against them and even has a straight uncle.

HAILO's #DriveForEquality is offering people free rides to polling centers tomorrow.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

It's Cane and Abel, not Jane and Abel.

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Ireland Marriage Equality Referendum Round-up: VIDEO

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With only a week to go before Ireland's May 22nd referendum on gay marriage opinions - both negative and positive - are coming thick and fast.

Here's four of today's nicer stories: politicians pins are staying, Donegal crooner and Irish mammies' Daniel O'Donnell supports marriage equality, HAILO offering free rides to polling stations and poor old Martin explains "d'aul gays" getting married to his mam and dad.

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Politicians who refuse to remove pins in support of marriage equality will not face any sanctions despite a long-standing rule that members, staff and visitors to government buildings are not permitted to wear emblems of a party-political nature while in the complex.

 

I'm leaving my pin on thanks very much!! @oconnellhugh http://t.co/MmPeeEHk5V

— John Lyons TD (@JohnLyonsTD) May 14, 2015

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Last weekend, Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin was asked to remove a Yes Equality pin while appearing on RTÉ’s Saturday Night Show - the same show that led to the Iona Institute suing the broadcaster last year after Rory O’Neill suggested its members might be homophobic.

Amazingly done @AodhanORiordain - just shows how petrified RTÉ are of #MarRef!! pic.twitter.com/hd9qAUPtXf

— Scott De Buitléir (@scottdebuitleir) May 9, 2015

 Read more, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Congress Moves to Extend Credit Non-Discrimination Protections to LGBT People

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U.S. Senate and House lawmakers introduced new legislation on Wednesday that would prevent discrimination against LGBT people who are seeking credit reports the Washington Blade. The bill, dubbed the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

MurrayRep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives while Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reintroduced the bill in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Murray stated that everyone should be afforded these protections:

"It is unacceptable that someone can be denied credit, simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I am proud that my home state of Washington has these protections, but it is time to ensure all LGBT Americans are protected from this discriminatory practice." 

Only 14 other states guarantee credit protections, including Sen. Murray's state of Washington. The credit bill's introduction comes ahead of a larger, anticipated bill that would guarantee LGBT protections in employment housing, education, federal programs and public accommodations. 

(Top photo via Flickr)


Suspended Anti-Gay New Jersey Teacher Viki Knox Drops Reinstatement Bid: VIDEO

Viki knox

Viki Knox, a former high school teacher who was suspended for posting anti-gay comments on Facebook in 2011, has dropped her bid for reinstatement, reports CBS New York.

Knox’s comments referred to homosexuality as a “perverted spirit” that “breeds like cancer”.

Her attorney filed notice with the U.S. District Court in Newark on Tuesday.

Speaking to CBS 2 regarding the controversy in 2011, the former teacher’s husband Gene said:

“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion. They can persecute her, but they can’t prosecute her.”

However, Knox was suspended without pay following an investigation and resigned several months later, citing health problems.

In 2013 Knox sued the school district for religious and racial discrimination, free speech violations and denial of due process.

The lawsuit, which is continuing in federal court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages and back pay.

Watch the 2011 interview in which Gene Knox supports his wife, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Laramie, Wyoming Passes Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance: VIDEO

Wyoming

Laramie City Council, Wyoming has approved Laramie Order 1915 which will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and access to public facilities, the AP reports.

The council of the town where Matthew Shepard was murdered 17 years ago voted 7-2 in favor of the motion.

2d45feb61e914cc8ba60947c055bf952-Photo-1-324x450The Legislature had repeatedly rejected anti-discrimination bills, most recently early this year.

Jeran Artery, head of the group Wyoming Equality, said:

"What a day for Wyoming, and what a day for the city that became synonymous with Matthew Shepard's murder to now step up and do this right thing. And I would really encourage other communities across the state to follow Laramie's lead."

Matthew Shepard’s mother Judy, who is active in a Denver foundation focusing on equality issues, said she was thrilled “that Laramie's doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the state of Wyoming can't see fit to do that as well. Maybe the rest of Wyoming will understand this is about fellow human beings and not something that's other than what they are."

Openly gay Rep. Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie) (above) said:

“Know that, in Albany County, five of six of your senators and representatives not only supported that measure, but actively, vigorously supported that measure, and we will continue to do so. My hope is from tonight that we will do so using the leadership of Laramie”

Two councilors voted against the ordinance. Both Joe Vitale and Bryan Schuster said they were concerned the ordinance caused concerns about religious freedom.

Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville), who voted against the anti-discrimination bill this year, said “the Matt Shepard case was a tragedy, but I don't see how an anti-discrimination ordinance would have stopped somebody from committing that heinous crime."

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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FDA Proposes End To Lifetime Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men: READ

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d0a85a76970c-250wiEarlier today, we told you about the upcoming report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that was expected to revise the stringent regulations banning gay men from donating blood in the U.S. That report was released by the FDA today and as expected, advocates for a roll back of the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men. In the announcement, the Obama administration acknowledged that the current policy “is perceived by some as discriminatory.” 

The proposed new guidelines will still ban gay men from donating blood if they have had sex with another man in the past year.

The Hill reports:

Critics of the ban, which was enacted during the national AIDS epidemic in 1983 and last updated in 1992, say it ignores mounds of scientific evidence concluding that blood donations pose no risk than the greater public if properly screened.

The FDA said in its draft rules the ban has become less effective over time, admitting that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral."

The agency will now collect public comments on the rule for 30 days. 

The American Medical Association quickly praised the move, releasing a statement that called it “a step in the right direction to end the lifetime ban that prohibits men who have had sex with men (MSM) from ever donating blood.”

Groups such as the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers have also voiced support of the policy change, calling the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”

Read the new proposed blood donation guidelines, AFTER THE JUMP...

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