Showing posts with label International Pro Gay Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Pro Gay Government. Show all posts

November 20, 2017

Ottawa Will Apologize to Thousands of LGBT Civil Servants for Prosecutions on Their Sexual Orientations

Egale Canada in 2016 recommended an apology from Ottawa to Canadians who were criminally charged or fired from the military or civil service because of their sexual orientation.
Egale Canada in 2016 recommended an apology from Ottawa to Canadians who were criminally charged or fired from the military or civil service because of their sexual orientation. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)    

Martine Roy was just 20 years old and less than a year into her chosen career as a medical assistant with the Canadian Armed Forces at CFB Borden when military police suddenly showed up at her workplace to arrest her.

They brought her to an interrogation room and demanded she admit she was a lesbian. They put her through psychological testing. Within a year she had been dishonourably discharged from the army.

For Canada's 
LGBT community, acceptance is still a work in progress, survey suggestsToronto-based charity says it helped 31 LGBT Chechens find asylum in CanadaThirty-three years later she cannot hold back the tears as she prepares to hear an apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons."It's amazing," Roy told The Canadian Press on Sunday afternoon, from her home in Montreal. 

"Even though if you fight all your life for that it's always hard to believe it will happen."Trudeau confirmed on Twitter he will offer the apology to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited people who were forced out of the military or public service and some who were even prosecuted criminally for "gross indecency." "On November 28, the Government will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House - for the persecution & injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality & inclusion," Trudeau wrote on Twitter.
Ottawa Pride 20170827
 Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance, centre, marches in the Ottawa Capital Pride parade in August, the first time a Chief of the Defence Staff has marched in a pride parade. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Starting in the 1950s and lasting until 1992, thousands of Canadians in the military, RCMP and across the civil service were fired under the policy. Roy refers to it as "the purge" by which the government tried to weed out people they felt were susceptible to foreign intimidation and blackmail because of their sexual orientation.

The government developed a homosexuality test known as the "fruit machine," which measured arousal to pornographic images in order to provide proof of sexual orientation to back up the reason for firing, or denying someone a promotion.

Roy said when the military police showed up at her door she didn't even know what her sexual orientation was and the firing "entirely changed my life."

She said she tried for five years to fight back but eventually she decided she wasn't going to put any more energy into it.

"You really think you did a big big crime," she said of the ordeal. "Sexual orientation has nothing to do with your skills."

She said in 1992 when Canada changed the law she expected an apology but that didn't happen until now.

Trudeau Ottawa Pride 20170827
Trudeau marches in the Ottawa Capital Pride. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
"It means a lot," said Roy, fighting tears. "It means even more coming from [Trudeau] because I know it's going to come from his heart."

                                                    'Long overdue'

Trudeau promised to issue the apology more than a year ago after Egale Canada, a group that advocates for the rights of sexual minorities, released a report on the matter and made a number of recommendations including that a formal apology be issued.

The government has been consulting with Egale and others to determine the best way to approach the apology. A spokesperson for Egale said on Sunday that having a date is "exciting."

"We think it's long overdue," said Jennifer Boyce.

Canada is also facing a class action suit from more than 2,000 people who say they were persecuted by the federal government for their sexual orientation. Negotiations to settle that suit are underway.

 The Canadian Press

August 6, 2017

London Tells Developers Go Ahead Develop But The Gay Bar Stays




They will develop this spot but the gay bar returns, so says the city of east London. Don't remember the City of New york ever doing that.




The Joiners Arms, in east London, was bought by developers Regal Homes in 2014 and closed its doors a year later.    

Campaigners fighting to reestablish a legendary London gay bar have made history as planners have ordered for the first time  that a LGBT bar must be created as part of a luxury flats development. 
The decision by Tower Hamlets council to order a multi-million pound redevelopment to include an LGBT venue comes as more than half of London's gay bars have closed in the last decade.

It is believed to be the first time that the sexual orientation of a venue’s customers has been included as a condition of planning approval. 
The Joiners Arms, in east London, was bought by developers Regal Homes in 2014 and closed its doors a year later.

Regulars from the pub, whose clientele has included the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Patrick Wolf, designer Christopher Kane, actor Rupert Everett and former Westlife singer Mark Feehily, created the Friends of the Joiners Arms (FOTJA) and achieved protective status for it ahead of the planning conditions being imposed.

Councillors are due to vote on plans submitted by Regal Homes on Wednesday which propose to transform the site into nine luxury flats and a pub. 

Ahead of the vote the company has said it is committed to ensuring an LGBT venue remains at the site for 12 years.

“The development on Hackney Road will re-provide a public house at ground-floor level with the same floor space as the previous Joiners Arms pub," a spokesman said.

"We are committed to keeping this space within our development in Tower Hamlets as a LGBT venue and have offered a right of first refusal on the lease to LGBT interested parties, including the Friends of the Joiners Arms and the New Joiners Arms.

“If the lease is taken up by an interested party then the venue will be secured for at least 12 years for LGBT use. We have also agreed a rent-free period for the first year."

A culture at risk officer from City Hall, who will help assess licensee applications, will later check the operator of the new bar is sufficiently LGBT and meets the requirements. 

Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Biggs added: “Tower Hamlets council is committed to celebrating our great diversity, which includes serving the needs of our LGBTQ+ community. I am delighted that as a council we are leading the way in using innovative ways to protect spaces such as the Joiners Arms site.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is committed to preserving LGBT venues in London as the number of venues has dropped from 125 to 53 since 2006.

“I hold LGBT venues in very high regard and have made it clear that protecting them is an integral part of my plans to grow London’s night-time economy and culture," he said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for LGBT venues to exist, and as difficult as possible for them to close."



May 27, 2017

Gay Prime Minister of Ireland in the Works






Ireland appears set to elect its first openly gay prime minister (or Taoiseach) on June 2. Leo Varadkar has built a wide lead in the race to succeed Enda Kenny, who announced his departure after serving as the country's premier for more than six years.
Varadkar is currently the Minister for Social Protection and is the favorite to replace Kenny as both the Fine Gael party leader and the head of government. If elected, he would also become the country's first leader of Asian immigrant descent and, at 38, the youngest person to hold the office.
“Having a government minister who is openly gay was a welcome development, and it’s a really positive sign of how attitudes have changed that a gay man is now in the running for Taoiseach,” said Paula Fagan, national coordinator for Ireland’s LGBT Helpline, a group that provides support to the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
If elected, Varadkar would only be the fourth openly gay world leader in modern history. The others include Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir.
A picture of political spouses taken earlier this week -- including Bettel’s partner, Gauthier Destenay, as the only male -- recently went viral.
Two years ago, Ireland legalized same-sex marriage when 62 percent of voters in a nationwide referendum cast their ballots in favor of defining marriage as a legal union between two people, regardless of gender. Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.
“During the referendum campaign, Minister Leo Varadkar gave a groundbreaking interview on national radio, in which he publicly came out as a gay man,” Fagan said. “As such, he is the first openly gay government minister in Ireland, and he has demonstrated courage in speaking publicly about his sexuality and about public attitudes to the LGBT community.”
In a speech to Parliament to convince undecided colleagues to vote "yes" in the 2015 referendum, Varadkar stressed, “This is not a bill about ‘gay marriage,’ it is about ‘equal marriage.’”
"Having an openly gay member of parliament reach the office of Taoiseach not only shows how far Ireland has come in such a short period of time on LGBT+ understanding and acceptance but also sends out an important message to young LGBT+ Irish people that your sexuality, gender or any aspect of your identity should not be a preventative factor in achieving your aspirations and dreams in life -- be that politics, business, the arts or any other aspect of Irish society,” Adam Shanley, director of Gay Switchboard Ireland, told NBC Out.
Follow NIreland appears set to elect its first openly gay prime minister (or Taoiseach) on June 2. Leo Varadkar has built a wide lead in the race to succeed Enda Kenny, who announced his departure after serving as the country's premier for more than six years.
Varadkar is currently the Minister for Social Protection and is the favorite to replace Kenny as both the Fine Gael party leader and the head of government. If elected, he would also become the country's first leader of Asian immigrant descent and, at 38, the youngest person to hold the office.
“Having a government minister who is openly gay was a welcome development, and it’s a really positive sign of how attitudes have changed that a gay man is now in the running for Taoiseach,” said Paula Fagan, national coordinator for Ireland’s LGBT Helpline, a group that provides support to the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
If elected, Varadkar would only be the fourth openly gay world leader in modern history. The others include Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir.
A picture of political spouses taken earlier this week -- including Bettel’s partner, Gauthier Destenay, as the only male -- recently went viral.
Two years ago, Ireland legalized same-sex marriage when 62 percent of voters in a nationwide referendum cast their ballots in favor of defining marriage as a legal union between two people, regardless of gender. Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.
“During the referendum campaign, Minister Leo Varadkar gave a groundbreaking interview on national radio, in which he publicly came out as a gay man,” Fagan said. “As such, he is the first openly gay government minister in Ireland, and he has demonstrated courage in speaking publicly about his sexuality and about public attitudes to the LGBT community.”
In a speech to Parliament to convince undecided colleagues to vote "yes" in the 2015 referendum, Varadkar stressed, “This is not a bill about ‘gay marriage,’ it is about ‘equal marriage.’”
"Having an openly gay member of parliament reach the office of Taoiseach not only shows how far Ireland has come in such a short period of time on LGBT+ understanding and acceptance but also sends out an important message to young LGBT+ Irish people that your sexuality, gender or any aspect of your identity should not be a preventative factor in achieving your aspirations and dreams in life -- be that politics, business, the arts or any other aspect of Irish society,” Adam Shanley, director of Gay Switchboard Ireland, told NBC Out.
Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook and InstagramBC Out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

February 23, 2016

Italian PM Puts Job on Line for Gay Partnerships Also Wishes a Win for Hillary




 PM Matteo Renzi at 39 is the youngest leader in this country. He is considered liberal by our standards. He has always been for gay rights and marriage but the best he is hope to maybe get would be same sex unions which the Catholic Church is fiercely fighting him on. Italy being home of the vatican, which has considerable influence on both the government and public opinion. This young leader is a gutsy leader not easily intimidated.


It may seem crazy that a major Western European nation should have such an archaic attitude towards towards marriage equality in 2016 – but Italy, with a deeply conservative, Catholic history, seems to be a little slower to adapt in comparison to its neighbors. Thankfully, this may well be about to change.
Since the country elected its youngest and arguably most progressive leader, Matteo Renzi, two years ago, he has been credited with a number of dramatic improvements. There are now more women holding prominent government positions, the economy is on the mend, unemployment is down and now, he’s looking to press forward with one of his early election pledges – to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.
The Guardian reports that, when he addressed his centre-left Democratic Party on Sunday, he stated: “We are at a crossroads. I am ready to call a confidence vote.” If successful, this extreme measure would help break the parliamentary deadlock on the bill, which stalled in the Italian senate last week thanks to the efforts of the opposition Five Star Movement (M5S). If unsuccessful it might mean Mr Renzi has to go to the polls just as he enters his third year in office.
While addressing his party Mr Renzi, went on to explain that he regarded the legislation to give same-sex couples legal recognition and protection as important as all of his other reforms.
The bill has faced vocal, and some might say predictable, opposition from the Catholic church, despite Mr Renzi’s request for the clergy not interfere with the debate – The Italian PM reasoned that the legislation does not impact on religious marriages.
A further stumbling block for the legislation is in relation to the implementation of adoption rights for same-sex couples. At the moment there is a a grey area around whether one partner in a same-sex relationship will be able to adopt the biological child of the other partner. This has lead to concerns among LGBT activist groups that some of the adoption legislation may be removed in order to ensure the civil unions bill is passed.
Mr Renzi’s party is due to announce its strategy this week.

gaytimes.co.uk/

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday that, as a citizen and leader of a center-left party, he hopes that Hillary Clinton becomes the next president of the United States.
During a news conference with foreign media to mark his second year in office, Renzi was asked if he could work with Republican candidate Donald Trump should he win this year's election.
"As Italian prime minister, it's obvious that I would work well with whoever is president of the United States," Renzi said. "As an Italian citizen and leader of the Democratic Party, and in total respect for American democracy, I'm rooting for Hillary Clinton." 

Renzi also said he would be traveling to Tehran in April, his first trip to Iran, which until recently was the focus of Western sanctions.
GT

February 22, 2016

UK: As of last Election there are 32 Openly Gay, Lesbian Bi’s MP’s in Office


On last year’s election the House of Commons ended up with 32 lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs. 
                                                           


One of the most remarkable, yet pleasing, statistics that fascinated political number-crunchers at last year’s election was that the House of Commons ended up with 32 lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs. 
Then last month, the Scottish Secretary and divorced father of three, David Mundell, became the first openly out Tory cabinet member. His son Oliver said he “admires [him] today as much as yesterday”, and David Cameron said he was “pleased and delighted” for him.
The Independent on Sunday can now add a further two to that number, with the SNP’s business spokeswoman, Hannah Bardell, and Labour’s shadow Welsh Secretary, Nia Griffith, coming out for our special photoshoot celebrating Parliament’s growing diversity. 
LGBT History Month is celebrated in February – and this photograph of 28 MPs and peers is a bit of history in itself, as it is the largest number of publicly out parliamentarians pictured together at one time, from  a parliament with more gay members than any in the world.
Ms Bardell, who previously worked for the then First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, said: “I only came out to myself and to my family during the election. I then chose not to say anything publicly because I had just got elected and I didn’t want it to be one of the first things I said about myself as an MP. 
“When David Mundell came out, it must have been very difficult for him, but it got me thinking about saying something myself. I felt this was the right moment – I’m very proud to be out and I’m very happy.” 
Ms Griffith, who has been an MP since 2005, said her sexuality had been known among friends, family and colleagues since the mid-1990s, but she “hasn’t made any great fuss about it in Parliament”. 
Lord Chris Smith is in the picture – he was the first openly gay MP in the 1980s and also the first to be appointed to the cabinet when he became Culture Secretary in 1997. Chris Bryant, the shadow Leader of the House of Commons who got the MPs and peers together, said: “It’s amazing how things have changed in 20 years. For years, Chris was the only one. But for some of the MPs now, their sexuality is just a mundane part of their lives rather than [as it is to outsiders] the only interesting parts of their lives.” 
It is understood that parliamentary clerks have also been asked to look into commissioning a painting of LGBT MPs, to recognise this as the most diverse parliament in British history. 
In a joint opinion piece for The IoS, Mr Mundell and Mr Bryant note the improvements in Parliament, but warn: “LGBT young people in Britain still face stigma and bullying. Rates of suicide and depression are significantly higher among members of the LGBT community.” 
Sadly, some MPs turned up after the shoot was over. This means they missed the questionable treat of Ben Bradshaw, a former Labour shadow culture secretary, stripping down to his white underpants on a chilly February day in front of Parliament, as he swapped cycling gear for a suit to pose for his own portrait to commemorate the great strides that British politics have made. 

Who is in the photograph?

21-LGBT-MPs-TeriPeng.jpg
21-graphic.jpg
1 Hannah Bardell The SNP’s business, innovation and skills spokeswoman came out to “herself” during the general election last year.
2 Angela Crawley The 28-year-old was the national convener of the SNP’s youth wing before winning Lanark and Hamilton East in 2015.
3 Cat Smith Jeremy Corbyn can count his shadow minister for women as one of his few true supporters among MPs – she used to work for him.
4 Mike Freer Parliamentary aide to Chris Grayling, the Leader of the House of Commons, since June, he previously resigned from the Government over a vote to recognise the Palestinian state.
5 Ben Howlett After winning Bath last year, the 29-year-old said the Conservatives were “more open on equality issues” than when he joined the party in 2004.
6 Ray Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury The Labour peer praised David Cameron for “being prepared to stand up and be counted” for supporting equal marriage.
7 Jonathan Oates, Baron Oates of Denby Grange Chief of staff to Nick Clegg during the coalition years, Lord Oates has been a regular on The Independent on Sunday’s Pink and Rainbow Lists.
8 Gerald Jones The Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP started campaigning during the miners’ strike, aged 14, and joined Labour in 1988.
9 Joanna Cherry The Edinburgh QC is considered one of the true stars of the SNP’s 50 new MPs, having set up the “Lawyers for Yes” pro-independence group.
10 Iain Stewart The Milton Keynes South MP is a former deputy chairman of LGBTory, and won plaudits for a speech during the last parliament on how he was bullied at school for being gay.
11 Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury As plain Chris Smith in the 1980s, he made history by being the first openly gay man in the Commons. He was made Culture Secretary in 1987.
12 Chris Bryant The shadow Leader of the House of Commons is one of the wittiest Labour MPs in the Commons and has written two volumes of the history of the UK Parliament.
13 Stuart Andrew Parliamentary private secretary to the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, he told the Commons three years ago of how he was once “beaten unconscious” in a homophobic attack.
14 Margot James The first openly lesbian Conservative MP has said her party took “far too long” to accept greater equality, but insists “those days have passed”.
15 John Nicolson The former BBC and ITV journalist joined the SNP aged 16 and was nominated as a parliamentary candidate by Alex Salmond, the former Scottish first minister.
16 Brian Paddick, Baron Paddick of Brixton The two-time Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor was previously famous for being the country’s most senior openly gay police officer.
17 Peter Kyle The 45-year-old Labour MP for Hove is a former chief executive at the charity leaders group Acevo and sits on the Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.
18 Crispin Blunt The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee chair recently stunned Conservative colleagues when he announced during a Commons debate that he uses the party drug poppers.
19 Waheed Alli, Baron Alli of Norbury The 51-year-old is an openly gay Muslim who made his fortune in the media industry before becoming a peer in 1998.
20 Wes Streeting Long destined for political stardom, the former NUS president signalled his political leanings in January by stating he’d happily snog Tony Blair.
21 Martin Docherty Something of an extrovert, the SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire arrived at this photoshoot asking, loudly, “Where are the gays?”
22 Nia Griffith The shadow Welsh Secretary was married once, but is publicly coming out through this article, although her friends and family already knew.
23 David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland became the first ever openly gay Conservative cabinet minister last month, a decision he said was “one of the most important” of his life.
24 Angela Eagle The formidable shadow First Secretary of State brilliantly bested George Osborne at Prime Minister’s Questions, when the two stood in for their leaders in December.
25 Alan Duncan The former international development minister was the first leading Tory to enter a civil partnership in 2008.
26 Stewart McDonald The Glasgow South SNP MP, a member of the Commons Transport Select Committee, declared his party to be the “gayest group in Westminster” last year, with 12 per cent out.
27 Jenny Hilton, Baroness Hilton of Eggardon The 80-year-old former Metropolitan Police commander joined Labour’s red benches in 1991 and sits on the Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee.
28 Liz Barker, Baroness Barker of Anagach The 55-year-old Lib Dem came out during a debate on equal marriage in 2013, citing the fact that she had to “declare an interest”.

April 21, 2013

NZ Gay Marriage Champion Maurice William Will Appear at Ellen Soon


  Ellen
NEW Zealand MP turned gay marriage champion and internet sensation Maurice Williamson could soon add "Hollywood talkshow guest" to his resume after he was given approval to appear on the Ellen Degeneres show.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister has granted permission to Parliament member Maurice Williamson to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneresShow” after Williamson became the unexpected face of gay rights for his “big gay rainbow” speech last week in favor of marriage equality.
Maurice William

"The most enormous big gay rainbow" rose over his Auckland electorate that morning and he had taken it as a sign to back the change, despite critics writing to him warning he would burn in hell, he said.
The 62-year-old National MP, whose staid portfolios include building and construction, customs, statistics and land information, lit up parliament last week when describing why he supported marriage equality legislation, which passed its final reading by 77 conscience votes to 44.
He mocked those predicting a "gay onslaught".
"We are really struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like ... We don't know if it will come down the Pakuranga Highway as a series of troops or whether it will be a gas that floats in over the electorate and locks us all in.” 
 MP Maurice Williamson during his historic speech to Parliament.
The speech has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and drawn support from celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ronan Keating and Degeneres, who invited him on her US TV show.
However, he had to decline because parliament's rules could not have them pay for his flights.
But on Monday morning, Prime Minister John Key told Newstalk ZB he had approved Mr Williamson's appearance on the show, but he will have to donate any fee to charity.
Mr Williamson tweeted that he would love to be a guest "if it can be arranged”. 
Gay-rights supporters in Wellington kiss to celebrate New Zealand becoming the first Asia-Pacific country to legalise same-sex marriage. Picture: AFP
"(Degeneres) is awesome - a real inspiration to us all."
Mr Williamson, who is married with three adopted children and describes himself as a "strong right-winger" on economic issues, became an unlikely face of the marriage equality movement, alongside fellow Nats Paul Hutchison and Chris Auchinvole.

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