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Anti-Gay Sultan of Brunei Eyeing Iconic New York Hotels - VIDEO

Sultan

Hassanal Bolkiah, the homophobic Sultan of Brunei, has offered to pay around $2 billion to buy New York’s Plaza Hotel, along with Grosvenor House in London and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan, reports Huffington Post.

Bolkiah has faced severe criticism for Brunei’s new penal code which includes death by stoning as a punishment for homosexuality.

A number of celebrities - including Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson - have protested against the Brunei-owned luxury hotel operator Dorchester Collection following the implementation of the country’s anti-gay laws. However, Russell Crowe announced his support for Dorchester, claiming that protests would “throw employees under the bus to make a political point.”

A statement from the hotel chain said that the company continues to “abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.”

However, activist group Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Global Engagement Ty Cobb said “the American profit stream that flows from [Bolkiah’s] hotels back to his regime needs to stop. We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere."

Watch a CBS News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Fayetteville, Arkansas To Vote On Controversial LGBT Non-Discrimination Order Today - WATCH

Bart hester

Fayetteville could today become the first Arkansas city to implement an LGBT non-discrimination order (NDO), reports NWA Online.

Alderman Matthew Petty proposed the NDO, which would ban employment discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background and veteran status, after being approached by the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality, an LGBT advocacy group with offices in Fayetteville.

During the proposal's second reading on August 5th, the vast majority of the more than 100 people who packed the City Council chambers criticized the proposed NDO as government overreach and an unnecessary infringement upon residents' religious beliefs.

Speaking against the NDO at a protest last Saturday, Republican Senator Bart Hester said:

“I think they’ve included a whole bunch of things that are already covered in law, just to protect the few little issues that we all know this is about…this is about telling a church that they have to host a gay marriage that they don’t support.”

A Monday robocall to voters, narrated by reality television star Michelle Duggar and paid for by the Arkansas Family Council, urged residents to speak out against the NDO:

“I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.”

However, Blake Pennington, assistant city attorney, said that such arguments are "nothing more than fear-mongering."

City council member Sarah Marsh, who said that the ordinance “guarantees that all people will have access to housing, employee and public accommodation,” expects there to be a vote today following the third and final discussion of the ordinance.

Earlier this month, Billings, Montana Mayor Tom Hanel cast the deciding vote against a proposed NDO that would have protected Billings residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Watch a report on last weekend's protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Fayetteville, Arkansas To Vote On Controversial LGBT Non-Discrimination Order Today - WATCH" »


Richard Land: LGBT Non-Discrimination Measures 'Suppress The Freedom Of Speech' - LISTEN

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.51.36 AMDiscussing the defeat of an LGBT non-discrimination measure in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, homophobes Richard Land and Gene Mills have claimed that such ordinances “suppress the freedom of speech,” reports Right Wing Watch. Mills also suggested that any "discrimination" members of the LGBT community might feel from society is really just the inner "shame and guilt" surrounding their "ultimate rebellion against God."

By a vote of 4-8, Baton Rouge last week voted down an ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination in the parish, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, approximately 200 cities currently have non-discrimination ordinances in place.

Filling in for Tony Perkins last week on hate group Family Research Council broadcast Washington Watch, former Southern Baptist Convention official Land said:

“Homosexuality and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community, that is the ultimate rebellion against God. We don’t want them to take away from us the right to say that, to say that’s a rebellion against God.”

Louisiana Family Forum member Mills replied:

“And that’s exactly what they were doing, they were going to use a cause of action against us to silence — and that is what is happening in ‘everywhere USA’ — religious liberty is under assault…. Any expression, any thought, anything you just shared, could have been construed as a hate crime or an act of discrimination, and the reality is the shame and the guilt the homosexual feels is mistakenly reinterpreted as discrimination and what they attempt to do is to call it discrimination and prohibit it.”

Referring to President Obama’s executive order providing protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors, Land last month said that conservatives need to stand up to “the gay thought police” or face Nazi-style persecution.

Listen to the Washington Watch broadcast, AFTER THE JUMP...

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American Bar Association Unanimously Approves Resolution Opposing Anti-LGBT Discrimination

AbaAt the American Bar Association's annual meeting on Tuesday, the House of Delegates (the organization's policy body) unanimously approved a resolution denouncing anti-gay laws as human rights violations and calling for repeals of those laws. 

Read the resolution:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association recognizes that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have a human right to be free from discrimination, threats and violence based on their LGBT status and condemns all laws, regulations and rules or practices that discriminate on the basis that an individual is a LGBT person;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the governments of countries where such discriminatory laws, regulations, and practices exist to repeal them with all deliberate speed and ensure the safety and equal protection under the law of all LGBT people;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges other bar associations and attorneys in jurisdictions where there are such discriminatory laws or incidents of targeting of LGBT people to work to defend victims of anti-LGBT discrimination or conduct, and to recognize and support their colleagues who take these cases as human rights advocates; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States Government, through bilateral and multilateral channels, to work to end discrimination against LGBT people and to ensure that the rights of LGBT people receive equal  protection under the law.

Last year, a similar resolution was unanimously passed “urging federal, state, local and territorial governments to pass legislation curtailing the availability and effectiveness of the use of 'gay panic' and 'trans panic' defenses by criminal defendants.”


Kenya Drafts 'Stone The Gays' Bill

Kenya gay protest

Taking their cues from Uganda, The Republican Liberty Party of Kenya has drafted their very own version of the "Kill the Gays" bill that calls for public death by stoning for "aggravated homosexuality," which is defined as "committing the acts with people below 18 years, if the offender is a person living with HIV, if those persons committing the act are persons in authority over their victims, serial offenders and where a victim is a person with a disability."

For regular old sodomy, Kenyan nationals would be subjected to life in prison. Foreigners, however, would be administered the death penalty by the aforementioned public stoning. As has been seen before in Uganda, Russia, and the U.S., the reprehensible human beings behind this approval of institutionalized murder don't have the fortitude of character to just admit they are gay-hating xenophobes and are instead hiding behind children and families. The petitioner states:

There is need to protect children and youth who are vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technology, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care or otherwise.

Fortunately, this is just a draft bill and is still under parliamentary consideration, but the fact that it was submitted in the first place is frightening enough. Time will tell if this fizzles into nothing or if Kenya is determined to be as atavistic as Uganda and what the fallout from it all will be.


Six Marriage Equality Cases at the Sixth Circuit Today: A Preview

6thcircuit

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

The Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a series of marriage equality cases today from the jurisdiction's four constituent states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. It is an unprecedented coming together of marriage equality litigation that has the potential to change the destiny of marriage in the federal courts for several reasons:

6thcircuitFirst, these cases cover the entire Sixth Circuit and any decision could affect all of them directly, even if a decision is stayed pending appeal to the Supreme Court. We have seen this happen in the Fourth Circuit, where the appellate court overturns a ban on marriage equality and other states in the circuit, North Carolina and West Virginia, either stop defending their own bans or take other pro-equality actions because they see the writing on the wall even though the decision is stayed pending appeal.

Second, the three-judge panel reflects the right-of-center tilt of the circuit, consisting of a Clinton appointee and two George W. Bush appointees, one of whom has made his fiercely conservative views public.

And, third, as the third federal appeals court to hear a post-Windsor marriage case -- after the Tenth (the Utah case) and the Fourth (the Virginia case), but before the Seventh (on August 26), the Ninth (on September 8), and at some point, the Fifth -- the Sixth Circuit is being watched to determine if a pattern is emerging among the circuits or if there will be a split among the panels.

AFTER THE JUMP, I summarize the cases and briefly profile the judges on the panel. I will also discuss a few things to watch for during the marthon oral argument, scheduled to being at 1 PM.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Six Marriage Equality Cases at the Sixth Circuit Today: A Preview" »


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