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North Dakota Senate Reconsiders Bill Banning Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

North Dakota's Senate is again considering a nondiscrimination bill that would protect LGBTQ people from being discriminated in the workplace on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Nebraska currently has an abysmal record on LGBT civil rights according to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 State Equality Index report. The Dickinson Press reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d0c4c1ca970c-800wiSen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo, is the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 2279, which is similar to bills brought forward in 2009 and 2011 that failed to pass.

“The reason I think that this bill is important is that I think that the young people are looking at not only getting a good job but moving to communities that are accepting,” Nelson said. “Despite the fact that Fargo and Grand Forks are pretty liberal and above board, there are a lot of places in North Dakota that are not yet there.”

The nondiscrimination bill could have an impact on Nebraska's job market and the type of companies and talent the state will be able to lure:

JboscheeRep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, a co-sponsor of the bill, said one way supporters of the bill are appealing to the Legislature’s conservative majority is pointing to the positive effect it will have on workforce development and attracting businesses to the state.

“We continue to need to fill jobs in the state,” Boschee said. “As someone who has done a job search and looked throughout the country and is gay, the first thing I do is look at the laws on the books -- what are the protections afforded to me at my place of employment.”

Should the bill pass, the Department of Labor would be empowered to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, an authority it does not currently have.

Nebraska's current non-discrimination laws only include protections for "race, religion, sex, national origin, age and physical or mental disabilities."

The bill is thought to have bipartisan support at this time. Here's to hoping it passes. 


Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern Insists She 'Doesn't Hate Anyone' Despite Trio Of New Anti-Gay Laws

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According to Republican Member of Oklahoma’s House of Representatives Sally Kern, she “doesn’t hate anybody.” Her claims are somewhat difficult to accept at face value, however, in light of the three discriminatory pieces of legislation that she pushed through the House last week. In addition to enabling discrimination against LGBT people based on religious grounds, Kern's bills enable the practice of reparative therapies and would literally defund gay marriages.

Under Kern’s proposed Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act “no employee of [Oklahoma] and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state.”

The bill goes on to demand that Oklahoma’s state funds be withheld in the event that a court order were to mandate the issuance or recognition of same sex marriage licenses.

“The LGBT people want to limit someone’s freedom to come to understand something, because their mantra is ‘well you’re born gay and you can’t change’ and there’s no credible scientific research to prove that,” Kern said in an interview with local NBC affiliate KFOR. “If they want to live that way, let them, but see that’s not enough for them, right now. What they want is to force their lifestyle upon the rest of us,” she insisted.

All three bills are scheduled to be heard next week after the opening of the Oklahoma legislature.


FIRST LOOK: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Ru-Turns For Season 7

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Get ready, hunties, RuPaul's Drag Race is coming back for its 7th season and it promises to be the the most 'raggedy' season ever according to Ru. This year Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley will be joining as judges on the show. The 7th season will also see Jessica Alba, Ariana Grande, Kathy Griffin, Demi Lovato, Olivia Newton-John, Alyssa Milano, Jordin Sparks, Kat Dennings, Mel B and John Waters guest judge, according to People.com.

Watch the preview for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Season 7 kicks off Monday, March 2, at 9 P.M. ET on Logo.

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Continue reading "FIRST LOOK: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Ru-Turns For Season 7" »


NYT Icon Bill Cunningham Documents the Men Pushing Fashion Forward in NYC: VIDEO

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Bill Cunningham, the NY Times' longtime fashion eyes-on-the-street, says it's men who are pushing fashion forward in NYC these days. In a new video he makes note of the felt hats, evolutionary mohawk haircuts, fur and faux-collared coats, and winged sneakers that are facilitating it.

Men are also documenting their looks with selfies, and Cunningham is delighted.

Check out his latest clip on fashion-forward lads, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYT Icon Bill Cunningham Documents the Men Pushing Fashion Forward in NYC: VIDEO" »


Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO

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As we reported earlier this week, Alabama's first and only openly gay state legislator Dem. Rep. Patricia Todd took to Facebook over the weekend to fire back at politicians alleging that gay marriage would erode "family values" should it become legal in Alabama. Todd called out the hypocrisy of many lawmakers using the rallying cry of "family values" to prop up their anti-gay views when they are having extramarital affairs. Todd's remarks came on the heels of a federal judge (appointed by George W. Bush) ruling that the state of Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Wrote Todd:

"I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about 'family values' when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have," Todd, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, said on Facebook over the weekend. "I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out."

Todd was responding to comments from her fellow lawmakers after Friday's decision by a federal judge to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"It is pretty well known that we have people in Montgomery who are or have had affairs …" Todd told the TimesDaily this morning. "I just want them to be careful what they're saying, some of it might come back to stick on them."

Todd has stuck to her message, appearing on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on Tuesday night to discuss why she is going after anti-gay politicians by using their own dirty laundry against them:

"I just wanna remind [politicians who oppose gay marriage], they don’t have the corner on family values. There are thousands of gay couples across the state, many raising children, that have much stronger family values than they do. It’s an attempt to try to cool the rhetoric…if you want to talk to me of the merits of the issue then that’s fine. But I’m not going to let you get away with a five second sound bite where you condemn me and my community."

Todd also weighed in Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice's Roy Moore's comments that he would not respect or uphold any federal judge's ruling that allows same-sex couples to wed as such decisions were "judicial tyranny" in his eyes.

Watch Todd tackle the right's hypocrisy on family values, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO" »


Actor Joel Grey Comes Out Publicly: 'I'm a Gay Man'

Actor Joel Grey is speaking out about his sexual orientation publicly for the first time at 82, to People magazine:

Grey"I don't like labels," says Grey, "but if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man."

While it's not a secret to his friends and family, the entertainer's never spoken about it publicly before. "All the people close to me have known for years who I am," Grey tells PEOPLE. "[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was."

Grey was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years. They have two children - actress Jennifer Grey and a son James.

Jennifer spoke to People as well:

"I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man," Jennifer tells PEOPLE. "Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom."

More at People....


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