LGBT Rights Hub




Alliance Defending Freedom Tome Ramps Up Fear Of Christian Persecution - READ

ADF book

Ramping the fear-mongering up a notch, anti-gay litigation group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has produced a 44-page tome that attempts to convince churches that laws preventing businesses from discriminating against gay customers are actually part of a wider aim to “compel Christians to accept, endorse, and even promote an ideology and behavior that violates their faith.”

ADF is one of a number of organizations and individuals involved in promoting harmful anti-gay laws abroad, as exposed by Human Rights Campaign’s Export of Hate report. ADF book 2

According to ADF, the new book Protecting Your Ministry aims to help churches prepare “for the legal intrusions and onslaughts that have already engulfed some of your fellow believers and Christian leaders around the country.”

It argues that “those advocating for homosexual behavior and transgender ideology will eventually target anyone who blocks the path of their political progress – including you and your ministry.”

Helpfully, it also provides a step-by-step “action plan” on how to deal with “marriage counterfeits and those advocating for complete sexual license.”

The book then goes on to profile a number of cases in which anti-gay business owners faced litigation for refusing to work with same-sex couples, including Robert and Cynthia Gifford, the owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in New York.

To make it clear that ADF doesn’t really hate gay people, the book concludes with a message of hope and inclusion:

“Preparing yourselves legally will give your group or institution greater freedom to continue presenting the Gospel clearly and effectively to your community – and that freedom may well make an eternal difference for lost and hurting souls all around you.”

ADF just wants to help you to see the error of your ways.

Read the book, if you can stand it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Dedicated Transgender Hotline Aims To Stem Epidemic Of Suicides Like Texas Teen Alex DeChiara's

DeChiara.AlexTR

After relentless bullying at her high school in Texas, transgender teen Alex DeChiara (above) transferred to an alternative school in April. 

But switching schools cut 17-year-old Alex off from her closest friends and her biggest passion: working with special-needs children at Euless Trinity High School, in a conservative suburb of Fort Worth. Alex hoped to one day become a teacher for autistic kids. 

After Alex transferred schools, administrators at Euless Trinity even barred her from campus and threatened her with arrest when she tried to visit. Faced with loneliness and a deepening depression, Alex felt she had nowhere to turn. On May 8, she hung herself from a tree in her family's backyard. 

Alex's father, Rick DeChiara, who came home from work to find Alex and had to cut her down from the tree, told the Texas Observer this week he feels there are a fair amount of resources dedicated to gay youth. But he added: “As far as transgender awareness kind of stuff, that’s a different story. I don’t think that’s quite as popular, as out there in the open.” 

MartelaNow, a San Francisco-based group is hoping to help change that — and to stem the epidemic of trangender suicides like Alex's. According to Greta Gustava Martela (right), the founder of Trans Lifeline, half of people who are openly transgender will attempt suicide at least once in their lives. 

Trans Lifeline is a first-of-its-kind, nonprofit crisis and suicide hotline staffed by transgender people. 

“There are a ton of suicide hotlines. There’s no shortage of them,” Martela told Time.com. “But it’s really difficult to get a person who isn’t trans to understand what it’s like to be trans.”

According to Trans Lifeline's website: "Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves. Our volunteers are all trans identified and educated in the range of difficulties transgender people experience." 

Although the hotline's goal is to prevent self-harm, it is open to any transgender person in need — as well as the parents of transgender children. 

After a surge in calls thanks to the Time.com story this week, Martela launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for training for additional volunteers. Those interested in volunteering for Trans Lifeline can learn more here. 

The hotline covers the US and Canada and is staffed by volunteers outside the Bay Area.

For those in crisis, the number is 877-565-8860

 

 

 

 


Reports Show LGBT People Living Under ISIS Control in Iraq Are 'At Imminent Risk Of Death'

Iraq Map

Two publications released yesterday report that LGBT people in Iraq are experiencing levels of persecution that puts many at imminent risk of death, reports the Washington Blade.

IGLHRCThe reports by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), international women’s human rights group MADRE and the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) show that while the conflict in Iraq has placed hundreds of thousands of citizens at risk of serious human rights abuses, LGBT individuals continue to be among the least protected of all groups.

A briefing paper entitled When Coming Out is a Death Sentence, documents violence and serious human rights abuses against LGBT individuals perpetrated by relatives, tribal factions and Islamist militias and vigilantes.

The briefing concludes that LGBT Iraqis are among the least protected groups in terms of the escalating threats to safety because their persecutors range widely across society-at-large; they have little to no protection from family, community or government; their physical appearance may put them at risk in public; they face hostility in refugee circumstances; and their movement has been curtailed by the conflict.

MadreThough little concrete information is known about the situation for LGBT people in the areas controlled by ISIS, it is known that the group prescribes death for individuals engaged in same-sex activities.

Jessica Stern, executive director of IGLHRC, said:

Stern“LGBT Iraqis are in a desperate situation that demands action. Many Iraqis face violence and serious human rights abuses but LGBT Iraqis, reviled across large segments of society, have none of the protection that can come from families, tribes and the community-at-large. Now, many LGBT Iraqis literally must hide to protect themselves. Exposure can mean death in the chaos of present-day Iraq.”

Yifat Susskind, executive director of MADRE, added:

Susskind“Human rights advocates, in Iraq and across the world, are banding together to sound the alarm. Respect for all human rights, indivisible and universal, demands that we stand up for LGBT people who are in grave danger now. This struggle, to defend all who are targeted for their gender and sexuality, is central to securing human rights for all people.”

IGLHRC, MADRE and OWFI have made recommendations for how foreign embassies, relief organizations, donor countries and others can protect lives.

These recommendations include:

  • Pushing the Iraqi government to lift the prohibition on civil society organizations operating shelters for those fleeing violence and increase resettlement spaces for LGBT individuals.

  • Expediting appeals for gay and transgender people who want to leave the country.

  • Monitoring reports of ongoing violence against gay Iraqis with the goal of urgently expanding protections.

  • Holding militias accountable for harassment and abuse of individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


International Olympic Committee Proposes End To Anti-Gay Discrimination - READ

Sochi

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a proposal to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination language in Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, reports The Advocate.

The IOC received criticism from LGBT advocacy groups for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, given the country’s national law against “gay propaganda”. During the the games, the IOC appeared to defend the arrests and beating of LGBT activists.

Principle 6 currently states:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Supporting the proposal, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:

“No athlete or fan should face fear of discrimination because of who they love. The International Olympic Committee must seize this opportunity to protect Olympic attendees and affirm its commitment to equality across the globe.”

The IOC will vote on this and 39 other proposed amendments in December.

Read the full report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Singapore Court Of Appeal Upholds Anti-Gay Sodomy Law - VIDEO

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Singapore’s highest court ruled yesterday that the country’s sodomy law is constitutional, reports The Straits Times.

The law, known as Section 377a, has been in place since Singapore was a British colony. It carries up to a two-year jail term for men who commit acts of "gross indecency" with other men, whether in public or in private.

SingaporeYesterday’s ruling came in response to lawsuits by couple of 16 years Gary Lim [above right] and Kenneth Chee [above left], and by Tan Eng Hong, who was charged under the anti-sodomy law after being arrested while having sex in a public restroom in 2010.

Both lawsuits argued that Section 377a infringes their constitutional right to equal protection under Article 12 of the Constitution, and violates their right to life and liberty, as guaranteed by Article 9.

The Court of Appeal found that Section 377a did not violate Article 9 as the phrase "life and liberty" referred only to the personal liberty of a person from unlawful incarceration, not to the right of privacy and personal autonomy. The court also found that Section 377a fell outside the scope of Article 12, which forbids discrimination of citizens on grounds including religion, race and place of birth but does not contain the words "gender", "sex" and "sexual orientation.”

Mr Tan’s lawyer M. Ravi said that the decision a "huge step backwards for human rights in Singapore".

Earlier this year, Singapore libraries withdrew two books with gay characters, citing "pro-family" standards. 

Watch Gareth Lim and Kenneth Chee discuss their relationship and the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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The Inmates Of Litchfield Prison (AKA 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast) Want You To Celebrate Spirit Day: VIDEO

GLAADOITNB

Who better to tout GLAAD's annual LGBT Spirit Day than the most sexually and racially diverse cast on television? A couple of the ladies from Netflix's Orange is the New Black made a video to inform those outside the Litchfield Prison walls about the event, taking place on Thursday, October 16th. 

Selenis Leyva (above left), who plays Gloria Mendoza on the show, gets right to the point: "Did you know that half of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students say they feel unsafe at school?" The solution, according to Yael Stone (AKA Lorna Morello, above right)? "Wear a whole lot of purple." That's right, GLAAD wants you to stand in solidarity with bullied LGBT youth by wearing purple from head to toe (or, you know, somewhere) and communicating your support. And if the cast of "OITNB" is doing it, why on earth wouldn't you?!

Check out the Spirit Day website here.

And watch the promotional video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Inmates Of Litchfield Prison (AKA 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast) Want You To Celebrate Spirit Day: VIDEO" »


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