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Barack Obama Must Raise LGBT Discrimination At U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: READ

Human and gay rights activists are urging Barack Obama to discuss anti-gay discrimination at next week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with 50 African leaders, reports ABC News.

2_obamaThe Human Rights Campaign and Human Rights First issued a statement saying that the summit, with the theme “Investing in the Next Generation,” is a "once-in-a-generation moment" to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

According to the two advocacy groups, 37 African countries have laws criminalizing LGBT relationships. Leaders of 32 of those countries - including Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who signed harsh anti-gay laws earlier this year - have been invited to the summit.

In response to anti-gay laws, the U.S.government last month announced sanctions against Uganda including loss of funding and a ban on Ugandan citizens involved in human rights abuses entering the United States.

Shawn Gaylord, Human Rights First's advocacy counsel for LGBT rights said:

"We believe the U.S. can do more in both Nigeria and Uganda to ensure that U.S. funding is not being given to any institution or group that is abusing human rights, including actively discriminating against the LGBT community. We recognize that this is a difficult process with competing interests, made more difficult by the rhetoric espoused by some leaders that the movement for the rights of LGBT people is something invented in the West and being imposed upon African societies. "

Indicating that gay rights will be raised at the summit, Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, said:

"The Obama Administration has long spoken out — including with our African partners — in support of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. We expect the summit will provide an opportunity to continue these conversations."

Read Human Rights Campaign's report The State Of Human Rights For LGBT People In Africa, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wiki Loves Pride Edit-A-Thons Improve LGBT Content On Wikipedia

Wikimedia lgbt

Last month, Wikipedia launched a series of Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thons to improve LGBT-related content on various Wikimedia projects.

The edit-a-thons aim to increase “the number of people and perspectives contributing to LGBT information on the site, as well as encouraging institutions to add their authority information, research and images to the public domain.”

Edit-a-thons have already taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.  Future edit-a-thons are planned for Atlanta and Houston and for Bangalore and Delhi, India.


Tony Perkins Outraged That U.S. Military Color Guard Marched at D.C. Pride: LISTEN

T_perkinsFamily Research Council president Tony Perkins has spoken out against the U.S. Military Color Guard's decision to march in the Washington, D.C., Pride Parade, Right Wing Watch reports.

On his radio bulletin today, Perkins argued that the Color Guard's decision discriminates against Christians because soldiers did not take part in the March For Life.

Perkins claimed that the march included "half-naked people and drag queens" and stated that "while the Pentagon may be willing to bend the rules for this cause, you can bet Christian soldiers wouldn't enjoy the same 'exemption' if they wore their uniforms to the March for Life."

Listen and read the full bulletin, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lambda Legal Files Discrimination Complaint Against Restaurant for 'Gay Bitches' Receipt

Lambda Legal has filed a discrimination complaint against a Washington, DC hookah bar for leaving a transgender woman a bar receipt reading "gay bitches".

GaybitchesAmira Gray, whom Lambda is representing, says she went to Bistro 18 in August of 2013 with some friends and, after receiving terrible service from the wait staff, says she was "extremely hurt, embarrassed and upset" at then having received the receipt with the message. 

Said Gray to Lambda:

When my friends and I saw the receipt, we were humiliated and embarrassed. We went in planning to enjoy Bistro 18 just like everyone else in the hookah bar that evening, but it turned into a disturbing experience. I am standing up for my friends and me because I don't think anyone should have to go through that.

Gray added that a friend of hers brought the receipt to the manager who "snatched" it and brought back a new one with no anti-gay slur. 

In the complaint, Gray said, "I believe I was denied the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of Bistro 18 based on my gender identity (transgender woman), gender expression, perceived sexual orientation, and personal appearance, as well as my association with friends of mine who are gay or may have been perceived as lesbian or gay, in violation of D.C. code 2–1401.31."

Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal Transgender Rights Project Director, said:

Discrimination against LGBT customers is a widespread problem that often goes unaddressed in businesses across the country. That this happened in Washington, D.C., where LGBT people have strong protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and personal appearance, points out the importance of ensuring existing laws are enforced. By standing up for herself and her friends, Amira is taking a stand for all LGBT people who are targeted by businesses for unequal treatment because of who they are.


Ruben Diaz is Busing People to NOM's Anti-Gay Marriage March But Not Telling Them

DiazSr

The National Organization for Marriage has organized the "2014 March for Marriage," to take place on June 19th, and they toot that New York Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a speaker at the march and a longtime anti-gay activist, is set to bring thousands of African-American and Latino constituents to Washington, DC to take part. Too bad he Diaz not mention the organization or the march in the video advertisement he's released.

Blabbeando reports:

From one of Brian Brown's increasingly desperate newsblasts:

I just recently got off the phone with my good friend, New York State Senator, Rev. Ruben Diaz, who will be speaking at the March again this year. He told me that he plans to bring down over 100 buses to the March from the Bronx this year!

He is calling it the "Second Annual Bus Vigil to Washington." He plans to depart New York at 4:00 am in a spiritual convoy of activists coming to the nation's capital to defend marriage! That's over 5,000 people — overwhelmingly Latino and African-American constituents — that a single political and spiritual leader wants to bring to Washington DC this summer!

The reality of the "Second Vigil on Wheels to Washington"? Diaz, Sr. claims:

We are offering any pastor or organization that wishes to accompany us to Washington a bus completely free of charge. Each bus holds 55 passengers and we will send the bus to any place you tell us to do so... The bus will pick you up there, will bring you to Washington and will bring you back to the same spot. And you won't have to pay for a single thing... Join us! Take advantage of the opportunity. Ask for your bus! Fill the bus! And let's go to Washington!  Let's go on a trip! Visit the monuments in Washington and testify that Jesus heals and saves and is the King we await.

Writes Andrés Duque:

This is not the first time Diaz has rallied people to anti-marriage equality demonstrations using deception. At previous rallies I have heard church leaders say that they had no idea they were being taken to such a rally and I have heard other religious leaders that they felt pressured to participate or risk losing the Senator's support.

But this is the first time Diaz has been caught at it so openly. Hilarious.

The success of Diaz, Sr.'s advertising campaign, and the sure-to-be-absurd "March for Marriage" remains to be seen. We will update you accordingly.

For now watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ruben Diaz is Busing People to NOM's Anti-Gay Marriage March But Not Telling Them" »


Monday Speed Read: Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, G-7 Commitment, Capital Pride

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

WisconsinWISCONSIN BAN STRUCK, APPEAL COMING:

A federal judge in Wisconsin Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying and, while some clerks began issuing marriage licenses immediately, the state attorney general said he would seek an emergency stay. In Wolf v. Walker, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb (a Carter appointee) said the ban violates the constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. She said she would address the state’s motion for a stay after she receives briefs from both parties later this month as to how they think she should word an injunction against enforcement of the ban.

WHAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT: Crabb

In her 88-page decision in Wolf v. Walker, Judge Barbara Crabb addressed concerns of opponents head on: “This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged…. Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.”

NOT ABOUT THE LAWS OF NATURE:

Judge Barbara Crabb also had this to say about conservative organizations’ argument that marriage is essentially about procreation: “Civil marriage is a legal construct, not a biological rule of nature, so it can be and has been changed over the years….”

NorthdakotaNORTH DAKOTA LAWSUIT FILED:

A private attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court in North Dakota Friday, making that state the last one whose ban on same-sex marriage is under challenge by a lawsuit. Joshua Newville of Minneapolis filed the lawsuit, Ramsay v Dalrymple, on behalf of seven couples in Fargo.

IOWA SUPREME COURT GETS PLEA: Iowa

The owner of a wedding business in Des Moines has appealed to the state supreme court to stop an investigation by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission of the business’s refusal to serve same-sex couples. Lambda Legal announced June 5 that it had filed a brief with the Iowa Supreme Court on behalf of a same-sex couple who had been refused service by the Gortz Haus Gallery. The group notes that the Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

G-7 SUMMIT COMMITMENT: G7countries

The language was not part of the G-7 agenda going into the June 4-5 meeting, but the “Declaration” issued June 5 by the seven nations of the G-7 summit calls for the promotion of “all human rights.” The final statement says: “We reaffirm our commitment to the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom, for all persons. We recognize the need to show unprecedented resolve to promote gender equality, to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, to end child, early and forced marriage and to promote full participation and empowerment of all women and girls.” The G-7 nations include Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

OVER THE RAINBOW: Dc

Washington, D.C.’s Pride parade Saturday was sponsored by the Marriott Hotels, whose owner is from a devout Mormon family and contributor to the Mitt Romney campaign.  The parade was led by a U.S. military color guard. And in an address to celebrate Pride Month at the Pentagon June 5, DOD Deputy Secretary Robert Work singled out several people for recognition. Among them were Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general officer in the U.S. military; Amanda Simpson, the highest ranking transgendered civilian appointee to the DOD; and Eric Fanning, Under-Secretary of the Air Force.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


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