LGBT Stories Hub




WATCH: Kate Brown Sworn in as the Nation's First Openly Bisexual Governor

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 5.55.06 AM

The state of Oregon inaugurated the nation's first openly bisexual governor yesterday when former Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in. Gov. Brown replaces former Gov. John Kitzhaber who resigned in disgrace amid an influence peddling investigation that includes his fiancée Cylvia Hayes. Brown addressed the issue in her inauguration speech:

"Governor Kitzhaber dedicated most of his life to serving the people of Oregon. His contributions to our state are well woven into the fabric of our public life. But now, we must restore the public's trust. 

"It's been a tough few months. The people of Oregon have had reason to question their trust in state government. Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons. That changes starting today. It's time for use to get back to work. It's time to move Oregon forward."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 6.01.45 AMBrown, 54, cited her husband, Dan Little (right), as her "rock," at her inauguration. News accounts have long said Brown is married but considers herself bisexual, without saying more. Brown married Little in 1997 and both live in Southeast Portland. They have two adult children from Little’s previous marriage.

Watch Gov. Brown’s inauguration speech, AFTER THE JUMP

The nation (briefly) had its first openly gay governor back in 2004 with New Jersey's Jim McGreevey. McGreevey resigned three months after making the announcement following a sex scandal. 

 

Continue reading "WATCH: Kate Brown Sworn in as the Nation's First Openly Bisexual Governor" »


Dublin Catholic School Cancels Anti-Homophobia Workshop Over Parental Concerns

Colaiste eoin

High school students in Dublin, Ireland are planning a protest after the all-boys school Coláiste Eoin cancelled a workshop on homophobic bullying, reports The Journal.

On Tuesday, voluntary organization ShoutOut turned up at Coláiste Eoin to hold the workshop but were told it would not be going ahead because the board of management had decided that “both sides of the argument should be represented”.

There'll always be parents who object 2 their kids learning to respect minorities. Are we really going to give them a veto? #ColaisteEoin Co

— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) January 28, 2015

Shout outThe workshop, which has been given in schools all over Ireland and in Coláiste Eoin in 2012 and 2013, focuses on encouraging students not to discriminate against gay people.

In a statement this week, the school said "on this particular occasion however the Board of Management have received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns regarding the workshop. In this context it was incumbent on the Board to address all issues and to seek the advice available from Catholic management representative bodies available to secondary schools."

The school has also “proposed” that the ShoutOut workshops would be held “at a future date”.

Nuff said.... #ColaisteEoin pic.twitter.com/DwE9GkSUyF

— James Aherne (@jaherne94) January 28, 2015

Students began organizing a protest yesterday to make it known that the decision does not represent their views.

@mitchellnicola @BocktheRobber I'm sure the 2 sets of #ColaisteEoin parents who complained want to ensure #PureInHeart get equal opportunity

— John (@AnGobanSaor) January 28, 2015

Commentators including Bock The Robber have queried if parents will now be consulted before Catholic activist groups including Pure In Heart are allowed to present at the school.

Very important to ensure that #PureInHeart don't get at our children in schools without parents being asked. #ColaisteEoin

— Bock the Robber (@BocktheRobber) January 28, 2015

Speaking on Newstalk yesterday on the need for "balance", LGBT activist Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss, said

Bliss"I think it's pretty clear cut. There's nothing wrong with it at all. Are we going to suggest that bullying is alright? I don't think so. I think it's very rare to come across an LGBT person who'll tell you they had a great time in school. It's a difficult time. Anything we can do to help make it better for them can only be a good thing. When it comes to bullying, I don't think there needs to be a balance."

Earlier this week, Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin confirmed that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent.


Founder Of Russian LGBT Teen Support Group Fined For Violating 'Gay Propaganda' Law

548x331_elena_klimova

The founder of Russia's version of the "It Gets Better" campaign has been fined 50,000 rubles for violating the country's "gay propaganda" law.

Journalist Elena Klimova (above), founder of the Children 440 group on the Russian social network VKontakte, was fined the equivalent of $775, BuzzFeed reports

Klimova launched the group shortly before Russia passed its anti-gay law in 2013. The name Children 404 is a reference to the “Page Not Found” online server error.

Most users who post photos on the site obscure their faces and include the message, "We exist." They also share stories and can interact with volunteer psychologists who offer counseling.

BuzzFeed reports on Thursday's hearing: 

LGBT activists said that Klimova’s lawyer could not attend today’s hearing for medical reasons and she was left without counsel when the judge declined to postpone the proceedings.

“Today the court has violated the article 48 of the Russian Constitution, according to which everyone shall be guaranteed the right to qualified legal assistance,” Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer with the Russian LGBT Network, said in a statement. “We are going to challenge this decision at all levels including the European Court on Human Rights.”

View photos from Children 404's Facebook page and watch a trailer for the film about the campaign, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Founder Of Russian LGBT Teen Support Group Fined For Violating 'Gay Propaganda' Law" »


New York Times Defends Firing Of Anti-gay Atlanta Fire Chief: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07d3bd8c970d-800wi

The New York Times has defended the decision of Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed (above) to fire Kelvin Cochran (below right), the anti-gay Atlanta fire chief who self-published a book he wrote titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?

In the book, Cochran labels homosexuality a "sexual perversion" and compares homosexuality to bestiality and pederasty.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c72fdc93970b-250wiThe newspaper argues that Reed “did the right thing and dismissed Mr. Cochran for what he called poor judgment: specifically, for failing to get approval for the book’s publication, for commenting publicly on his suspension after being told not to, and for exposing the city to possible discrimination lawsuits.”

“Mr. Cochran said he was fired ‘for no reason other than my Christian faith.’ But he and his sudden coterie of supporters have it backward. This case is not about free speech or religious freedom. It is, as Mr. Reed said at a news conference, about ‘making sure that we have an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love, can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and then go home without fear of being discriminated against."

The Times argues that if Cochran “were an adherent of a religion that avowed the inferiority of white people, and that he distributed literature to that effect...he would not have lasted another day in a job that requires him to manage and protect the well-being of a large and diverse work force.”

“It should not matter that the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Cochran had mistreated gays or lesbians. His position as a high-level public servant makes his remarks especially problematic, and requires that he be held to a different standard.

“The First Amendment already protects religious freedom. Nobody can tell Mr. Cochran what he can or cannot believe. If he wants to work as a public official, however, he may not foist his religious views on other city employees who have the right to a boss who does not speak of them as second-class citizens.”

Watch a January 6th press conference in which Reed announces his decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

Update: NOM's Brian Brown isn't happy with the paper's position on the matter, writing:

But the biggest and most dangerous lie the New York Times put forward is that Christians (and those of other faiths) who actually have the temerity to speak up on their beliefs (you know, don’t hide their light under a bushel) on marriage and sexuality, should be fired.

Yes, the New York Times actually states that employees "have the right to a boss who does not speak of them as second class citizens." When the Times says that we are speaking of employees as second class citizens, it lies again—of course we don't believe that—we just know that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. And even though the Times acknowledged that there is absolutely no evidence that Mr. Cochran discriminated against gays or lesbians, it still argues that he should be fired because he had the temerity to publicly acknowledge his beliefs in this book.

The Times has just declared war on Christians and members of other faith communities that serve in government position. It is open season, according to the New York Times, to make sure that we lose our jobs. The new authoritarians now state openly that we can have our beliefs—we simply can’t talk about them. And then they are going to actually have the gall to say that "this is not about free speech or religious freedom."

Continue reading "New York Times Defends Firing Of Anti-gay Atlanta Fire Chief: VIDEO" »


Lesbian Widow Sues FedEx For Refusing To Pay Survivor Benefits: READ

 

Schuett

The widow of a FedEx employee is suing the company for refusing to provide her with federally required pension benefits, reports NCLR.

Lesly Frances TABOADA-HALLThe company’s decision to deny Stacey Schuett (pictured above left) benefits is solely because both spouses are women.

Schuett and Lesly Taboada-Hall (pictured right and above with their two children) were together for 30 years before they married in 2013. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Taboada-Hall and Schuett married from a hospital bed in their California home in front of their two children and close family members and friends.

At the time of Taboada-Hall’s death, she had been a FedEx employee for more than 26 years.

FedEx has refused to provide the benefits because its pension plan incorporates the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even though that law was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013.

Representing Schuett, attorney Nina Wasow said:

“Federal pension law protects same-sex spouses just as it does opposite-sex spouses. Employees who have same-sex spouses deserve the same certainty as others that their hard-earned retirement benefits will be there to protect their families.”

Also representing Schuett, NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter added:

“FedEx cannot hide behind DOMA to justify its discrimination against Ms. Schuett and her family. The Supreme Court’s decision striking down DOMA made clear that employers must recognize the spouses of their gay and lesbian employees.”

Read details of Schuett's complaint, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Widow Sues FedEx For Refusing To Pay Survivor Benefits: READ" »


'Gay People Shouldn't Have Babies', Grocery Cashier Tells Shocked Couple

CR_SC_4747_Surrey_Quays_Shopping_Centre_London_picture_1_p5_440x330

UK supermarket chain Tesco has apologised after an employee allegedly told a lesbian couple that gay people “shouldn’t have babies,” reports Pink News.

The incident occurred in Surrey Quays mall in east London on January 3rd.

A cashier at the supermarket is alleged to have made the comments to Natalie Rivans and her girlfriend Helen Embleton about a pregnant woman in the queue in front of them, saying “it’s wrong - gay people shouldn’t have babies.”

When Rivans challenged the employee, she was told “it’s a free country so I can say what I like.”

On the incident, Rivans said:

“I’ve been out and gay for a long time however my partner not so much. This has really upset and stressed her out.

“I’m thoroughly disappointed [and I] feel as though the LGBT family need to know about this.”

According to spokesperson for Tesco, an internal investigation is now underway.

Back in 2013, Tesco caused a storm when it pulled an inflatable gay best friend from its website. The product had been listed with the term "gay" (censored "g*y") and was suggested for recipients between the ages of 3 and 4 years old, although its description deemed it appropriate for bachelorette parties.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged