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Labor Department Takes Final Step Towards Implementing LGBT Anti-Discrimination Executive Order: VIDEO

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The Labor Department yesterday announced that a new rule required to implement President Obama’s executive order banning workplace discrimination against LGBT government employees is now final, reports the Washington Blade.

Signing the executive order on July 21st, Obama said:

"It doesn't make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.  And that's wrong. We're here to do what we can to make it right -- to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction."

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73defccdf970d-200wiAlthough the order was signed in July, the process wasn’t yet complete because the Labor Department and the Office of Management & Budget had to draft a rule to implement the measure.

Once this final rule is published, it will become effective 120 days later and apply to federal contracts entered into or modified on or after that date.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a statement:

“Americans believe in fairness and opportunity. No one should live in fear of being fired or passed over or discriminated against at work simply because of who they are or who they love.

"Laws prohibiting workplace discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity are long overdue, and we’re taking a big step forward today to fix that.”

Patricia Shiu, head of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which is responsible for enforcing the order, said:

“We are building on the work of presidents and members of Congress from both parties who have expanded opportunities for America’s workers.

"This rule will extend protections to millions of workers who are employed by or seek jobs with federal contractors and subcontractors, ensuring that sexual orientation and gender identity are never used as justification for workplace discrimination by those that profit from taxpayer dollars.”

The Labor Department has published Frequently Asked Questions for the final rule, known as EO 13672 Final Rule.

A group of about 140 religious leaders and advocates for religious freedom had petitioned the president for an exemption for faith-based groups.

Watch President Obama announce the executive order a White House reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Arrests Follow Homophobic Attack Against Two Men for Singing Songs from the Musical 'Wicked' - VIDEO

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A man and a woman have been arrested following the vicious homophobic assault last month on two gay men in Manchester, England, reports the Lancashire Evening Post.

The November 1st attack started because the victims - 25-year-old Jean-Claude “Jo” Manseau and 19-year-old Jake Heaton - were singing songs from the musical Wicked.

During the attack, up to 20 people punched and kicked Manseau unconscious. 6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07a4b8af970d-200wi

Police have confirmed that a 20-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man are in custody and being questioned on suspicion of a homophobically-aggravated assault.

Detective Constable Tim Greenwood said:

"We are still appealing for people to come forward with information and I would urge anyone who witnessed the attack to speak to police.

"The victim was attacked in a busy place and someone may have seen something and have some key information that could help our investigation."

Manseau has said the attack “destroyed every bit of confidence I have...I don’t know when I’ll feel safe to go into Manchester again. My face is going to be scarred for life. That has upset me.”

A lesbian and gay choir staged a mass singalong on the tram network in Manchester last month to show support for Manseau and his friend Jake Heaton.

Watch a video of the singalong, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay British Pundit Comes Out Fighting For Ban On 'Promotion' Of Homosexuality

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Lord Christopher Monckton, an anti-gay bigot and former deputy leader of British right wing party UKIP, has again taken to birther wingnut rag WorldNetDaily in support of an Australian politician who last month called for a ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality, reports Right Wing Watch.

Right-wing Rise Up Australia counsellor Rosalie Crestani had called for the City of Casey near Melbourne to stop all diversity training, to ban media releases related to sexual orientation, to remove pro-gay signs on council premises and to ban pro-LGBT messages for discriminating against straight people. 6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c7106453970b-250wi

Monckton last week said that gay people have up to 20,000 sexual partners as part of their “deathstyles”.

In a column published yesterday, Monckton suggested that a ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality can actually help gay people by saving them from their “deathstyle”.

Attacking the “hate-filled” councillors who have “ganged up” on Crestani, he also claimed countries that allow gay people to adopt children do not care about “our innocent little ones” and that same-sex marriages - we’re guessing he means all same-sex marriages worldwide - are likely to only last “a few weeks or months.”

His vile outburst reads in part:

“Councillor Rosalie Crestani’s courageous stand against the pro-homosexual discrimination at the City of Casey Council on the fringes of Melbourne has enraged the forces of darkness.

“Her fellow councillors have ganged up against her to try to get her removed from the council for what – in their hate-filled eyes – is the crime of daring to speak out in accordance not only with her religious and political beliefs but also with her duties as an elected councillor.

“And why are some states allowing them to ‘marry’ when the probability that the ‘marriage’ will last for more than a few weeks or months is vanishingly different from zero?

“And why, oh why, do a few nations allow them to adopt and bring up children? Do we not care more for our innocent little ones than that?”

Watch a report on Monckton's comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay Protesters Halt LGBT-Inclusive Seoul Human Rights Charter in South Korea

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Seoul, South Korea has scrapped a planned human rights charter offering protections for gay citizens following protests from anti-gay groups, reports Pink News.

The charter, which was proposed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in August and was due to be enacted on December 10th to coincide with International Human Rights Day, included a clause that a person “has the right not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

SeoulHowever, the last six public hearings on the charter were protested by anti-gay Christian groups.

Last Friday, almost half of the 180 citizen volunteers selected by the SMG to be a part of the enactment of the charter left a hearing in the city hall when they were told that the inclusion of the clause on gay rights would be decided by a vote.

While 60 of the remaining 73 volunteers voted in favor of the gay rights clause, the SMG said it was postponing the charter’s enactment as the citizen members had “failed to agree on the final copy of the charter successfully.”

In a statement, the SMG said:

“The charter of human rights for Seoul citizens is supposed to be a pact created and enacted by the citizens themselves.

“Unfortunately, working on this charter has been creating more social conflicts. We would like to take more time to listen to a variety of opinions from our citizens on this matter.”

In October, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon became the first mainstream South Korean politician to endorse gay marriage.




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

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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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Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Suspended For Anti-Gay Religious Tract

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Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended from his position for one month for writing a religious book in which he describes homosexuality as a “sexual perversion,” reports AJC.com.

In the self-published book “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” (yours for only $13.18!), Cochran argues that homosexuality is akin to bestiality and pederasty. Kelvin Cochran Who Told You That You Are Naked?

Arguing that “men who carry the curse of condemnation and deprivation cannot fulfill their purpose as husbands, fathers, community and business leaders,” the book includes passages such as the following:

• “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

• “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s spokesperson Anne Torres said the administration didn’t know about the book until employees came forward with complaints last week.  Reed wrote on Facebook that he was “deeply disturbed” by the book book and will “not tolerate discrimination of any kind” in his administration.

Cochran has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training and has been barred from distributing copies of the book on city property.

Additionally, Reed’s office has now opened an investigation to determine whether Cochran has violated city policies or discriminated against employees.


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