Showing posts with label Homophobia/Gay Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homophobia/Gay Marriage. Show all posts

December 19, 2019

Sheraton Said To The Couple 'They Are Not Specialized on Gay Weddings

Sheraton “Not Specialized” 😏 To Carry Out Gay Wedding 

Josh Rimer, who is a vlogger and Mr. Gay Canada 2019, shared his experience with trying to lock in a wedding venue in a recent vlog.

He and his fiancé, Heath, who lives in Vancouver, planned on having their wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and had reached out to the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center, to host it.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Puerto Vallarta as a destination is extremely gay-friendly, so you’d think this wouldn’t come as a surprising request. It would be like reaching out to a hotel in Palm Springs or Mykonos for a gay wedding.

The first thing worth noting is that the hotel seems to have been incredibly unprofessional all along with wedding planning, and that’s before it was even revealed that this was a gay wedding.

What’s much worse is that in an email conversation with the hotel, the couple was told that the hotel is not “specialized to carry out an equal wedding.” Here’s the email from the hotel to the couple:

“I am infinitely grateful that you have thought of Sheraton for your big day, however, our hotel and our staff is not specialized to carry out an equal wedding and we would not like to take your wedding as a trial and error, and our service could be poor compared to what characterized Sheraton because we know and we are aware that is your special day for you and your fiance, and do not want that by our non-specialed service some conflict can be generated on your big day, my apologies.”
As someone who has gotten (gay) married and has tried to explain to people that a gay wedding is the same as a straight wedding, this Key & Peele skit certainly comes to mind:

A Marriott spokesperson stated the following in response to this situation:

“Marriott has long been committed to providing an environment where all are welcome including our LGBTQ guests and their loved ones.”
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Offers To Host Wedding For Free

The Hilton Puerto Vallarta has capitalized on this opportunity and has offered to host the wedding for free. Via an Instagram post:

Hi @JoshRimer, we’re looking for you! We’ve heard you want to get married at Puerto Vallarta and we want to offer you the #HiltonExperience! 🤗

We want to celebrate with you this special day, so we’ll gladly host your wedding ceremony and feast for FREE for you and your 45 guests at Hilton Puerto Vallarta! 😍🌴 Please send us an inbox! *Restrictions may apply

#loveislove #loveislove🌈

Can The Sheraton Be Given The Benefit Of The Doubt?

I don’t automatically always want to assume the worst in people, so I’ve been trying to think if there’s any world in which this isn’t homophobic.

The person they were in contact with may not have had a great grasp of the English language, so perhaps some benefit of the doubt should be given in regards to how exactly things were phrased.

That being said, I can’t think of any interpretation of the email where it wasn’t intended the way it came across. Josh had no special requests, so it’s not like he was asking the banquet staff to perform a choreographed drag show (though I feel like even that shouldn’t be so hard to find in Puerto Vallarta?).

At an absolute minimum, this situation shows a lot of ignorance on the part of the person they were in contact with. And unfortunately, that ignorance when it comes to gay weddings is pretty widespread. I don’t want to name and shame, but I know when I got married someone who otherwise supports my relationship asked (seriously) if one of us was going to wear a dress at the wedding, given that I was explaining gay weddings are the same as straight weddings.

I suspect it’s still somewhat generational.

But seriously, there’s simply no excuse for this, as far as I’m concerned.

What do you make of this situation? Is there any way to interpret the email from the Sheraton in a way that doesn’t seem terrible?

February 13, 2019

Tennessee 💥NaTuRaL💥Marriage Defense Act Seeks to Strip Gay 💔Marriage Rights

Image result for anti gay Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon
Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, speaks during a meeting of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on behalf of his bill that would block the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling in Tennessee on Jan. 20, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Nearly four years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S. in its landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are attempting to turn back the clock with legislation aimed at barring gay marriage in the state.

The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” which was first proposed in 2016, seeks to “defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.” The bill, which was reintroduced on Friday, would deem the high court’s Obergefell decision “unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.”

Introduced by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, the bill also prohibits government officials from facilitating same-sex marriages, and it states that these officials cannot be arrested for disavowing court orders that recognize such unions.

Pody told NBC News the Supreme Court “overstepped its authority” with the Obergefell decision. He claimed marriage is “a state issue, not a federal issue,” and therefore, he added, the 2015 ruling is “unconstitutional” and should be rectified.” 

GOP lawmaker under fire after calling LGBTQ groups 'modern day' KKK
But while Pody said he strongly believes “marriage should be between a man and a woman,” others find the reintroduction of the state’s “Natural Marriage Defense Act” to be a major step backward for Tennessee.

"As a native Tennessean, it's disappointing to see lawmakers pushing more mean, pointless legislation that would do nothing except single out LGBTQ people in an effort to make us feel less than equal,” said Nick Marrow, press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ advocacy group. “Marriage equality is settled law, and if Tennessee wants to continue to be a welcoming destination for businesses, tourists and transplants alike, our representatives need to join us in the year 2019."

The proposed legislation failed in the state’s House of Representatives last session, but Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, which lobbies state legislatures on LGBTQ issues, said it’s not clear at this point how it will fare this time around.

“We’ll have a better understanding of the likelihood of the bill passing after the first committee hearing, so that’ll be key,” Sanders told NBC News.

Sanders noted that there’s “still some resistance and prejudice” in the state when it comes to LGBTQ people, which is “why this bill keeps coming up.” He noted that Tennessee is one of four states that’s over 50 percent evangelical Christian. This religious group is among the least likely to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. 

LGBTQ parents face ‘state-sanctioned discrimination,’ American Bar Association says
One barrier that could prevent the bill’s passage, however, is its projected cost. In 2017, the General Assembly estimated that the Natural Marriage Defense Act could cause approximately $9 billion in federal funding to be withheld from the state.

Another obstacle is the state’s LGBTQ community and its allies, who have banded together once before to prevent the bill’s passage, and plan to do so again.

“Tennesseans who are in committed same-sex relationships simply want to be treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU in Tennessee, said. “A handful of state legislators cannot nullify the law of the land and drive our state backward simply because they wish to discriminate. The ACLU of Tennessee, along with many partners, will be working hard to defeat this narrow-minded, blatantly unconstitutional legislation.”

The reintroduced “natural marriage” law, however, “isn’t the only anti-LGBT bill on the docket right now,” noted Sanders. He said there are at least five other bills in the state legislature that may threaten the rights of LGBTQ people in Tennessee. One of these bills, which was introduced in both the state House and Senate (Pody is the sponsor of the Senate bill), seeks to allow private adoption agencies to decline to participate in any child placement services that would “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions.” This type of legislation, which can already be found in 10 states across the U.S., creates barriers for LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples looking to adopt or foster.

October 22, 2018

The Anti Gay Marriage Shop is Going Down The Aisle of Shutting the Doors

The shop came to national attention after the owners refused to bake a cake in support of same-sex marriage.

The Ashers bakery in Central Belfast that refused to bake a cake in support of same-sex marriage is closing down as the company’s managers said that the branch wasn’t “busy enough.”
In 2014, the owners of the store were taken to court for refusing to bake a cake in favour of same-sex marriage as it went against their religious beliefs. An initial ruling ruled in favour of gay rights activist Gareth Lee, however, the owners of the store went through several appeals until they got to the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the bakers.
Announcing the ruling, Lady Hale said: “It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristic.
“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”
She added: “The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.
“Accordingly, this court holds that there was no discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of Mr Lee.”
However, despite the ruling in their favour, the store is now going to close. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the general manager of Ashers, Daniel McArthur said: “It simply comes down to the figures.
“We decided not to renew the lease. Belfast city centre isn’t busy enough – our other shops are much busier.”
He added: “It’s been planned for some time, and I am pleased to say there will be no job losses.”

April 1, 2018

Anti Gay Evangelicals in Costa Rica Threaten to Derail The Election on The Issue of Gay Marriage

The unusual but beautiful Costa Rican Frog

 Conservative Christian singer Fabricio Alvarado Munoz is in a tight race with his center-left ruling party rival ahead of a run-off on Sunday to decide Costa Rica’s presidential election, their campaigns are driven by dueling views on gay rights.Alvarado Munoz, a 43-year-old former television host shot to the top of the polls in January soon after denouncing a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that month which called for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The fight over whether gays and lesbians should be able to marry has overshadowed other pressing issues like a growing budget deficit seen limiting funding for public safety and social programs while crime is rising. 
The election is seen as a barometer for the mood in Latin America, where countries that passed laws favoring same-sex unions in recent years hold presidential elections over coming months. 
Costa Rica, one of the region’s more prosperous and stable countries, was ruled by a two-party dynasty until 2014 when first-time candidate Solis rode an anti-corruption wave to power. 
The unraveling of the old order raises the possibility that a significant number of Costa Rica’s 3.3 million voters will decide at the last minute.  
“The absence of party identification leads to a couple of very unusual conditions: lots of voters who are undecided plus an unprecedented volatility in voter preferences,” said Ronald Alfaro, a pollster at the University of Costa Rica. 
The bitter race has laid bare divisions between urban professionals who want political leaders to embrace modernity and an older, more rural society that favors traditional ways. 
Alvarado Munoz(picture below) has pledged to fight what he calls the “secular state” and “gender ideology,” to eliminate sex education in schools and maintain strict restrictions on women’s access to abortion. He says he would stiffen penalties for corruption and unleash an “iron fist” against crime, but has said less about budget priorities or anti-poverty measures. 
*Who Are These Evangelicals?
There are two things which are offsprings of extreme conservatism and extreme religion, usually in this case fundamentalist evangelicalism whose preaching is not caring too much about this physical life since they are going to have a better one latter one when Jesus come back or when they die.
 Some even want the failure of governments to rush down the pike so the second coming would hurry up and come so they can be with their king. Yes, they believe in kings and monarchies.  We do know kings don't do well in democracies which is the opposite. They don't believe :man: can have all those liberties and not get into trouble and lose their eternal lives. So they have never been friends of democracy except to have the opportunity to grow and preach their message like they are not allowed in their prefer forms of government which is federalism, capitalism and for even communism if they are given the freedom to coexist.
 They prefer what they link with the respect of the past to law and order and power of the parents to decide everything about their children and decry today's laws with parental control on books they have to read in school, fashion and people having the freedom to do as they want since they believe their life has to be sacrificed by living as the bible reads. They don't say one should pray but one should "pray incessantly" because that is the way the bible describes it.  Believing people should do as the good book says. Pray every awaken hour is how they interpret that passage. People who believe in god and the bible but are not evangelicals would see that passage as telling them to pray and think of god every chance they get. In other words is a reminder that one should prayVs. Pray every awaken hour even if its brings discomfort which is an order! 
 They don't care about budgets or the everyday wheels of governemnt as long as the right of preaching is done. Who cares if people are hungry and don't have a lot of money if in the next live they will have more than they need. Sacrifice now, don't enjoy now, not even sex because that is for procreation. On the other hand, there are some Federalists among them that believe the governemnt should not do much for people and not collect much in taxes and they should be given full reign with little or no regualations to work hard and acquire the fruits of their labor which would be to get ultra rich like you see some pastor's and others that support those particular believes being ultra rich and they don't have a problem with  Christ saying, "it would be easier for a man to enter thru the eye of a needle than a rich man thru the door of the kingsom of god". 
“This is the biggest fundamentalist threat that Costa Rica has ever faced,” said Julia Ruiz, a 36-year-old accountant, while she and her girlfriends tried on dresses inspired by “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a web TV series based on the anti-totalitarian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. 
The women plan to wear the dresses as a protest against Alvarado Munoz’s socially conservative agenda. 
Alvarado Quesada faces his own detractors, especially those fed up with the unpopular outgoing government. 
The candidate has sought to dodge accusations of corruption plaguing the Solis administration by launching a plan to halve the budget deficit while providing social assistance to the country’s poor and protecting minority rights. 
Additional reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Richard Chang
*Adam Gonzalez, 5yrs of Seminary studies in Divinity, Evangelism, the History of the Christian Church

Article by Enrique Andres Pretel

It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage. 4.9 Million Reads

January 31, 2018

Russian Couple Who Married in Denmark and Acknowledged by Gov. Had to Flee

 Russian weddings of the past between a man passing as woman and gay man. The picture of the couple
in this article is not included to avoid further dmage if that is possible.

Rights activists say two Russian men whose marriage in Denmark was indirectly acknowledged by Russian authorities have fled the country, citing a "real threat" to their liberty and security.
Pavel Stotsko and Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky left Russia after police declared their passports invalid and opened an administrative case against them for "intentionally defacing an official document," the Russian rights group LGBT-Network said on January 29.
It was not clear where the couple traveled to.
LGBT-Network head Igor Kochetkov said police had told Stotsko and Voitsekhovensky they would not be protected from possible attacks by homophobic vigilantes.
Stotsko and Voitsekhovsky were married in Copenhagen on January 4. When they returned to Moscow last week, they presented their passports to police for confirmation of the marriage under provisions of Russian law that regulate the recognition of foreign marriages.
Although Russia does not recognize same-sex marriages and sexual minorities regularly face discrimination and persecution there, a police official stamped the passports.
An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said on January 28 that the official who stamped the passports and her immediate supervisor had been dismissed, and that the investigation into the matter remained open.
LGBT-Network reported that police had blocked the entrance to Stotsko's and Voitsekhovsky's apartment on January 28.
The group said police were preventing friends from entering and the two men from leaving in an effort to recover their passports. In addition, electricity and Internet access were blocked for several hours, LGBT-Network said.
Stotsko rejected the charge that he had defaced his passport. "Our passports were stamped by officials who had every right to stamp them under federal law," he told a Moscow radio station on January 28.
The two men reportedly turned in their passports on January 29 on the advice of their lawyers and were immediately issued replacement passports.
With reporting by RIA Novosti

November 14, 2017

This is Why Religious Exceptions Brings Gay Marriage and Gay Civil Rights Backwards

All states have anti-discrimination legislation that prevents businesses discriminating against people based on their sexuality, among other things. 
Religious exemptions would allow people — and private businesses — to refuse services for same-sex weddings by objecting to such weddings on religious grounds. 
I have written elsewhere about why religious exemptions for same-sex marriage are economically foolhardy. 
They are also bad policy: they undermine the very purpose of the anti-discrimination legislation. 

Equality vs. freedom 

The anti-discrimination legislation aims to balance competing "rights". On the one hand, it promotes the right to equality. It also tries to avoid impinging the right to freedom of religion. It is premised on the idea that vulnerable groups require legal protection from persecution. 
The most recent example of state anti-discrimination laws is the Victorian Equal Opportunities Act of 2010. Its purpose is to encourage "positive action to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation". This enhances prior laws by encouraging pro-active action by goods and services providers to eliminate discrimination. 
The legislation attempts to balance equality with religious freedom by providing exceptions where discrimination is deemed 'reasonable'. For example, in Victoria, the law allows people to discriminate if it is "reasonably necessary ... to comply with the doctrines, beliefs or principles of their religion". The act also exists alongside Constitutional provisions that prohibit the Commonwealth from either mandating or forbidding, religious observance.
The anti-discrimination legislation thus demonstrates a clear policy goal to eliminate discrimination except in the case of narrowly drawn exceptions. The question is whether religious exemptions for same-sex marriage undermine that policy goal. 

Where to draw the line

Religious exemptions for same-sex marriage could apply to three different activities: 
  • services provided by religious organizations and offered only to adherents of that religion 
  • non-religious services offered to the world at large by religiously owned or operated entities 
  • services provided by private organizations and offered to the world at large 
Religious groups offering religious services 
It is generally accepted that religious entities should be exempt from same-sex marriage laws when performing religious activities. For example, a church minister need not marry a same-sex couple. This is not a live issue in the debate. 
Religious groups offering non-religious services to the world at large
Religious groups provide many services to the general public. They might include schools that are open to people of all faiths, properties that are open for rent, or religiously affiliated businesses that provide general services. Superficially, one might argue that providing services for same-sex couples could be at odds with the religious group's beliefs. However, two factors count against that. 
First, the religious group has actively decided to offer its services to the world at large. In so doing, it has signaled that it is willing to serve people who do not agree with its religious tenets.
Picking and choosing which people to serve is arbitrary and exclusionary and this is precisely the type of discrimination that anti-discrimination law aims to avoid. 
Second, the services being offered are non-religious. For example, leasing a property, baking a cake, and providing flowers are all non-religious services. Thus, providing these services to same-sex weddings does not violate the religious group's beliefs. Thus, it cannot impinge religious freedom. 
Private businesses offering services to the world at large 
Religious exemptions for private business offering services to the world at large are problematic. 
First, the most recent legislation explicitly states that motive is irrelevant when determining whether actions are discriminatory. However, religious exemptions imply that discriminatory conduct is acceptable if the motive was a personal objection to same-sex weddings. This directly contradicts existing legislative language. 
Second, the legislation's stated purpose is to eliminate discrimination in areas where discrimination has historically been prevalent. This involves a situation where a powerful group has used that power to harm the victimized group. In part, this is premised on the inherent unfairness in discrimination. In part, it is premised on the real world harm that such discrimination causes. 
In this context, LGBTI individuals have historically faced discrimination. This manifests in higher rates of depression and anxiety, according to Beyond Blue. Such discrimination has historically been religiously based. 
Thus, religious exemptions would entrench discrimination against a historically victimized group, and propagate real world harms.
Third, services are not magically different merely because they are for a same-sex wedding. Thus, religious exemptions are not necessary to prevent discrimination against religious groups. Indeed, this, in and of itself, suggests that the only purpose for religious exemptions can be to facilitate discrimination under the artificial shroud of religious observance. 

A balancing act

An anti-discrimination law exists to prevent prejudiced and exclusionary actions. In this context, the laws balance the need for equality with the need to preserve religious freedom. 
There is an argument for exempting religious groups from anti-discrimination laws when they perform religious actions. 
However, there is no such argument for exempting businesses, or religiously affiliated organizations, when they offer services to the public at large. Such exemptions would undermine the very purpose of an anti-discrimination law. 
Mark Humphery-Jenner is associate professor of finance at UNSW Business School.
ABC Australia

September 14, 2017

Twins Separated by Anti Gay Law in Australia One Can Marry the Other Can't so Neither Will

MICHAEL Jamison is a 31-year-old who has played 150 games with Carlton and can marry fiance Georgie any time he wants.
His twin brother Will, eight minutes younger, is an Australian men’s netball representative who is legally prevented from marrying partner Nigel.
So Michael and Georgie won’t marry until Will at least has the right to marry whoever he wants.
Michael and Georgie are expecting a baby daughter in early February and his stance is a small but important piece of symbolism for his brother.
They grew up together in Hamilton with Will aware by 14 he was probably gay and eventually coming out at 19.

Retired AFL footballer Michael Jamison and twin brother Will. Pic: Michael Klein

As the postal vote on same-sex marriage nears, the brothers are just another example of the increasing intersection of sport and politics.
At Tuesday’s AFLPA MVP awards Marcus Bontempelli used a speech to push the “yes” campaign, as Easton Wood, Ben Brown and Jordan Roughead wore equality badges.
Both Will and Michael Jamison feel dismayed to have to campaign so hard for what is such a basic human right.
Same-sex rights campaigner Angie Green planted the seed about waiting to marry as she stands up for gay rights for her brother Brent.
“(Georgie) and I got engaged and we never thought of waiting,” Michael told the Herald Sun yesterday.
“Once it was apparent that this really was a postal vote, it brought about the discussion.
“Angie said she is waiting and it just made sense to us. It is a thing we can do apart from ticking “yes” in the vote.
“I am not sure how Will can be so level-headed about this. I watched Q&A on Monday night and screamed at the TV. It makes me so angry. 
“I go through this whole range of feelings from embarrassment to anger to dumbfounded. I just know for a fact that it is something we will look back on in five or 10 years and we will shake our head and wonder why it took so long.”
Will Jamison is dismayed both at the lack of political courage of our national leaders and the level to which the debate has stooped in recent weeks.
“Down the track, I would like to get married but it’s more the idea that we don’t have a choice currently,’’ he said.
“It’s incredibly humbling (from Michael), it’s not something I would have asked him to do because when you find someone you want to spend your life with you don’t want to wait.
“But it’s also a testament to how ridiculous it is that this is still an issue. Two brothers who grew up together and one can get married and one can’t.”
He feels blessed at how smooth his path was to come out as gay — with a loving family, supportive environment and trailblazers who had come before him.
“It was pretty harrowing as a 14-year-old. I didn’t know what was going on and what to do about it. But as you get older you realize it’s not a phase, it’s not going away.
“Coming out was beyond easy. It was a non-issue. I could have told my parents I was going to Queensland for the weekend. My parents were just relieved I was comfortable in myself.
“But what is really upsetting is the hateful language that has been used in this debate. If it had been me when I was 14 hearing all of this and looking on social media, it would be a really awful spot.

Michael Jamieson: “I am not sure how Will can be so level-headed about this ... It makes me so angry.” Pic: Michael Klein

“But we are nearly there.”
After a decade spent inside AFL change rooms, Michael Jamison knows two things about the first gay footballer to come out.
He will be immediately accepted by his teammates and yet he will still need a level of bravery to endure the attention that will come his way.
“Footy clubs would be one of the best places to come out. But it is the outside world and social media which might be the tricky part, ‘’ he said.
“If we say we are not ready for it, it’s because of the lack of education and it’s because people are worried about what the response would be.
“I fear that might not change until someone comes out.
“And then they realize it’s not as bad as they thought it was going to be, or it might be bad but they make it easy for everyone else.
“I hope we get to the point where people do feel comfortable. I am not sure why people haven’t come out yet and I am sure those reasons are valid but I just hope there is a day soon when someone can.”

JON RALPH, Herald Sun

August 23, 2017

Anti Gay Marriage Fear and Mongering Ads, Clearly Calling Gays Fags in Australia

On Monday morning, my friend Michael in Melbourne woke up and looked out the window to check the weather. Instead, what caught his eye was a poster on the street that had been put up overnight. It screamed at him, “STOP THE FAGS,” and contained a string of ludicrous allegations of child abuse by gay parents.                                                                                 

Anti-same-sex marriage poster in Australia.
 © 2017 Private

My friend, who is gay, closed his curtain. It was a bad start to the week for him. For the first time in his life, he felt a campaign targeted him because of his sexual orientation.
The Australian government is planning a nationwide poll in September that will ask voters, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” This puts gays and lesbians in a very vulnerable position. Their fundamental rights will be put to the will of voters participating in a costly yet nonbinding vote. Some anti-marriage equality groups are using scare tactics to lure voters to their side. In the case of this vitriolic poster campaign, some peddle outright lies to discourage people from voting for marriage equality. More than 70 peer-reviewed academic studies from around the world have concluded that the children of gay or lesbian parents fare just as well as other children.
Australia is a member of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), an international partnership of 35 countries advocating equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. At a recent meeting at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, ERC member states, including Australia, publicly pledged to strengthen the protection and promotion of equal rights for LGBTI people, share best practice on how to repeal discriminatory laws, improve responses to hate-motivated violence, and promote legal protection from discrimination.
The Australian government should stick to its word and denounce publicly this fear-mongering campaign and focus on protecting the rights and safety of people like my friend Michael. Better still, the government should scrap this unnecessary and divisive poll entirely, and simply pass a marriage equality bill.

Boris Dittrich 

Advocacy Director, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program Human Rights Watch

December 15, 2016

Video Company Challenges Gay Marriage in Court

The owners of a video company have filed a legal challenge to Minnesota's gay marriage law because they want to shoot weddings for heterosexual couples only.
Carl and Angel Larsen said they will be punished for refusing wedding services to same-sex couples. The St. Cloud couple, who owns Telescope Media Group, filed a lawsuit against the state's human rightscommission and attorney general.
The couple's federal lawsuit has the backing of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal nonprofit organization, the Star Tribune ( ) reported.
The Larsens' lawsuit doesn't respond to specific allegations, but they are hoping to prevent future penalties.
While Minnesota's law doesn't compel religious organizations to perform same-sex marriages, it does ban businesses from denying wedding services, such as cake decorating, wedding planning or other commercial services.
State officials can deploy "testers" to investigate discrimination, and business owners who are determined liable can be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense punishable by fines and up to 90 days in jail.
Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said "any reasonable person" with the possibility of facing such punishments would follow in the Larsens' footsteps.
Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey said the lawsuit is part of a pattern of litigation nationwide aimed at eroding the rights of the LGBTQ community.
In agreement was Teresa Nelson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, who said the lawsuit would open "the door to a vast array of discrimination . if the court sides with the plaintiffs."
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys also represent a group of parents and students from Virginia, Minnesota, in a federal lawsuit that seeks to bar high school transgender students from using locker rooms and restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
This week a federal judge suspended proceedings in the case until the U.S. Supreme Court issues an opinion or resolves a similar case being argued in Washington.
Minnesota's same-sex marriage law was enacted in 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the fundamental right to marriage is guaranteed to all.

May 7, 2016

Chief Judge Who Refused to Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses Gets Suspended

Roy Moore responds to complaintsAlabama Chief Justice Roy Moore responds to complaints made in January by various groups protesting his administrative order explaining the legal status of the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Act and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act in Montgomery, Ala. (Julie Bennett/

An Alabama judicial oversight body on Friday filed a formal complaint against Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples.

As a result of the charges, Chief Justice Moore, 69, has been immediately suspended from the bench and is facing a potential hearing before the state’s Court of the Judiciary, a panel of judges, lawyers and other appointees. Among possible outcomes at such a hearing would be his removal from office.

“We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail,” Chief Justice Moore said in a statement, saying that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which filed the complaint, had no authority over the charges at issue.

Referring to a transgender activist in Alabama, Chief Justice Moore said the commission had “chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda.”

It is the second complaint lodged by the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission against the judge. In 2003, he was ousted by the same body from his position as chief justice after disobeying a federal court order to remove a two-ton monument of the Ten Commandments that he had installed in the rotunda of the state judicial building.

He was elected to that office again nine years later.

The current complaint concerns Chief Justice Moore’s actions after federal court decisions regarding same-sex marriage. Last spring, he directed probate judges in Alabama not to abide by a Federal District Court’s order striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, holding that issuing licenses to same-sex couples would violate the Alabama Constitution.

In January, six months after the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right, Chief Justice Moore, in an administrative order, instructed the state’s probate judges that they had a “ministerial duty” to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Nearly all of the probate judges in the state have been issuing licenses to same-sex couples, though a few have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

In his order, he argued that the Supreme Court’s decision applied only to the four states involved in the case that was before the court, and not to Alabama. That view runs counter to that of the federal district and appellate courts with jurisdiction over Alabama, and, according to the formal complaint, is “contrary to clear and determined law about which there is no confusion or unsettled question.”

The complaint lists six charges against Chief Justice Moore, and lays out several violations of the state’s canons of judicial ethics.

Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which had filed a series of complaints to the commission, said Chief Justice Moore “has disgraced his office for far too long.”

“For the good of the state he should be kicked out of office,” he added.

Chief Justice Moore held a news conference last week at which he argued he was upholding the law as he interpreted it in his capacity as a judge.

“This is about legalism,” he said, wearing his judicial robe and speaking to reporters in the rotunda of the state judicial building. “There is nothing in writing that you will find that I told anybody to disobey a federal court order.”

On Friday, his lawyer, Mathew Staver, made a similar argument, insisting the matter at hand was one that could only be decided by the United States Supreme Court.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no jurisdiction to resolve legal disputes,” he said, “and the complaint is solely focused on a legal dispute between federal and state courts.”

August 4, 2014

1st gay British Clergyman to marry has job offer with NHS withdrawn


The first gay British clergyman to marry a same-sex partner has had an NHS job offer withdrawn because a bishop will not give the licence needed.
Jeremy Pemberton currently works as an NHS chaplain in Lincolnshire, but has been blocked from taking a new job with the NHS in Nottinghamshire.
He was also told he could not work as a priest in Nottinghamshire after hemarried his partner in April.
His case was raised in the House of Lords earlier this week.
Mr Pemberton told BBC Radio Nottingham he was "very, very disappointed" not to be able to take up the post of chaplaincy and bereavement manager for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after the offer was withdrawn on Friday.
'Treated inconsistently'
"I've now been treated, I think, in an unfair and rather harsh way in Southwell and Nottingham, whereas I'm now going to carry on doing the job I have been doing in Lincolnshire where I have a licence," he said.
"So I've been treated in an inconsistent way, and the House of Bishops can't agree amongst themselves what ought to be the processes that somebody who enters a same-sex marriage should go through."
NHS chaplains are funded by the NHS rather than the Church of England, but a chaplain needs a licence from the relevant diocese.
The Acting Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, revoked Mr Pemberton's permission to officiate as a priest in June and wrote to the trust in July saying he would not give Mr Pemberton a licence for the new job.
Jeremy PembertonJeremy Pemberton can still work as a chaplain in Lincolnshire
The trust said it was considering its response after receiving the bishop's letter on 7 July, then withdrew the job offer on 1 August.
Mr Pemberton said: "I think the problem now is that it appears that I'm stuck in the job I'm doing, and if I try to move I could be blocked.
"There are, to be honest, quite a lot of gay and lesbian Church of England chaplains working in the health service.
"Now we don't know, if any of them try to move, will the same thing happen to them, and should it?"
He said he did not know this would happen when he married his partner.
"I didn't, and neither did the House of Bishops, appear to know what would happen," he said.
"As soon as they put their pastoral guidance out that very obvious question was asked of them, and the bishops said, 'Oh no, we don't know, we will have to take it on a case-by-case basis.'
"I'm not going to bow out gracefully and take a low profile.
“I think this needs to be tested [legally] and I think in due course it probably will be somewhere."

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