LGBT Rights Hub




Studies Show Domestic Abuse More Prevalent In Same-Sex Relationships

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Two recent studies demonstrate the extent of domestic abuse in same-sex relationships and refute the myths that only heterosexual women are victims of domestic abuse, that men are never victims and that women are never the perpetrators, reports The Advocate.

The National Violence Against Women survey found that 21.5 percent of men and 35.4 percent of women living with a same-sex partner experienced physical violence in their lifetimes. This is compared with 7.1 percent and 20.4 percent respectively for men and women in opposite-sex relationships.

The Centers For Disease Control's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, updated in 2013, reports that the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner was 43.8 percent for lesbians, 61.1 percent for bisexual women, and 35 percent for heterosexual women, while it was 26 percent for gay men, 37.3 percent for bisexual men, and 29 percent for heterosexual men.

According to Beth Leventhal, executive director of The Network/La Red in Boston, thanks to the combination of reports like these and the Obama administration being active on LGBT issues, there has been increased funding for services to address domestic abuse in same-sex relationships.

Last year, Congress passed an LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act.


Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO

Javed Jaghai

A gay rights activist has withdrawn a legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws after growing fears of violent backlashes, reports WTOP.com.

Last year, Javed Jaghai initiated a constitutional challenge to an 1864 law that bans sex between men.  He argued that the law fuels homophobia and violates a 2011 charter of human rights that guarantees a right to privacy.

Jaghai is the Education and Outreach Officer at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG).

As it stands, the law bans anal sex and sets a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and hard labor. Anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men is punishable with two years in prison.

When Jaghai initiated the legal challenge in 2013, several church pastors led crowded revival meetings to oppose overturning the anti-sodomy law.

However, Jaghai has issued a statement saying he is no longer in a position to continue pursuing the case because of fears of a backlash against his family.

Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his court challenge is "the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground, away from effective HIV testing, prevention treatment, care and support interventions.”

Although Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller spoke in favor of gay rights in 2012 and has vowed to put the anti-sodomy law to a "conscience vote," there has as yet been no movement in that area.

Watch Jaghai discuss human rights in Jamaica, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thousands March For Marriage Equality In Dublin, Urge Ireland To Replace 'Tolerance' With 'Citizenship' - VIDEO

Ireland2

An estimated 8,000 people took part in the fifth annual March for Marriage in Dublin, Ireland, last Saturday, reports The Irish Times.

Some dressed in sashes and tiaras after the news that the newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh had revealed she is gay.

NoiseThe organisers of the march said that hoped this would be the biggest - and last - gathering for same-sex marriage equality prior to a referendum on the issue to be held early next year.

Comedian and writer Tara Flynn, who last week starred in an LGBT Noise video spoofing the “Armagayddon” that sadly some believe will come about if marriage equality becomes law, introduced speakers at the end of the march.

Watch an Independent report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Warning against complacency among supporters of equal rights, Marriage Equality’s Gráinne Healy asked the crowd to check the electoral register to make sure they and their friends and family are registered to vote.

Representatives from LGBT youth organisation BelongTo, INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group, the Union of Students in Ireland, trans rights organisation TENI, and LGBT Pavee representing the traveller community also spoke.

Irish Times journalist Fintan O’Toole called for Irish society to replace “tolerance” of LGBT people with “citizenship”. He told the crowd:

"What we’re asking for is a recognition of a change that has already happened... The slogan I would suggest is ‘if you want a Republic, put a ring on it.’”

Continue reading "Thousands March For Marriage Equality In Dublin, Urge Ireland To Replace 'Tolerance' With 'Citizenship' - VIDEO" »


'Ex-Gay' Activist Yvette Cantu Schneider Comes Out In Support Of LGBT Rights

Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, has announced that no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups, reports GLAAD.

225050_10150202052319238_2061929_nSchneider is known for her high-profile start at hate group the Family Research Council and her work with California's Proposition 8 campaign.  She is still one of the key people who anti-gay voices cite in order to prove that "change" works. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, It's Not Gay, in which Yvette appears as a talking head. Her "personal testimony" still appears on Ex-gaytruth.com.

However, Schneider has said that she is sorry for the pain she has caused to LGBTI people, is questioning of the idea of "ex-gay" itself and is now fully supportive of LGBT people and their families.

In her recently published book Never Not Broken: A Journey of Unbridled Transformation, Schneider "struggles to heal from difficult events from her childhood, the abuses and hypocrisies of religious leaders, and the effects of her own denial of the feminine divine" and ultimately "discovers her true self."

Writing for GLAAD yesterday, Schneider explained how, following the stress brought on by her five-year-old daughter’s diagnosis with leukemia, she sought the help of psychologist Dr. Diana Wright who taught her mindfulness meditation and guided imagery meditation.

She goes on to explain:

“I had neglected the feminine and the feminine divine when I embraced patriarchal dogma that regarded women as secondary to men...It was only when I embraced this true self that I regained my life. It meant shedding many of the beliefs I had espoused for decades—beliefs about what it means to be gay, and what it means to treat people with dignity and respect.

“This change has cost me friendships and the respect of certain people. But that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to understand my journey. One thing is for sure: Never again will I deny my authentic self in order to gain the approval and acceptance of others. It isn’t worth it.”

A Q&A with Schneider will be published by GLAAD today.

Schneider's defection is another recent blow for the ex-gay movement after Pennsylvania pastor Duane Youngblood was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager.


Cape Coral, FL Mayor is First in SW Florida to Support Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki is the first mayor in Southwest Florida to publicly announce her support for same-sex marriage, reports ABC-7 News.

Marni sawicki twitterSawicki has also added her name to a list of more than 500 mayors around the United States who support marriage equality.  Yesterday, we featured a video by Tallahassee Mayor John Marks in which he explains his reasons for supporting same-sex marriage.

Announcing her decision, Sawicki said she added her name to the Mayors for the Freedom To Marry campaign because “it's about human rights and freedom of choice. I believe it's the right thing to do."

However, although Sawicki has received support, some Cape Coral residents are less than happy with her decision.  One resident Dennis Adana told ABC-7 News that “as a Christian I am appalled that she would come out and publicly be okay with that.”

Watch Tallahassee Mayor John Marks explain why he supports same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO

Kim driscoll mayor salem

On Wednesday we reported the decision by the City of Salem, Massachusetts, to kill a contract with anti-gay Gordon College.

Under the contract, the college operated the city’s Old Town Hall.  College president Michael Lindsay was one of more than 140 signees of a letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions from a pending executive order which aims to prevent work discrimination by federally funded organizations. Letter by Kimberly Driscoll

Speaking to The Christian Post, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said that Gordon College's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior," "is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year.”

Driscoll has since published an awesome letter defending Salem’s inclusive policies and calling out attacks made by right wing blogs and websites.  Specifically citing wingnut Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Driscoll writes that “this has resulted in a number of phones calls being place to my office from people outside of Massachusetts who have expressed some patently offensive views regarding LGBT individuals.”

In response to the barrage of phone calls, Driscoll goes on to say “we are keeping a tally of these phone calls and for each one we receive I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth], in support of your good work to create, sustain, and advocate for the policies and services that support youth here on the North Shore.”

Driscoll also asks that individuals make contributions to nAGLy as a response to “the persistence of those who would deny LGBT citizens their equal rights.” 

Watch a video introducing nAGLY, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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