World News
Disney To End Funding For Boy Scouts Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by CNN | TIME   
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:56

USA-gay-days-disneyDisney To End Funding For Boy Scouts Over Gay Leader Ban

Will make scouting organization ineligible for volunteer-for-cash program. The Walt Disney Company announced Saturday it would withdraw funding from the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 unless the scouting organization overturns a policy banning gay leaders.

Disney doesn’t directly donate to the Boy Scouts, but plans to stop allowing employees to do volunteer work through Disney’s VoluntEARS program in exchange for cash donations to the Boy Scouts of America, reports CNN.

IMAGE : DISNEY GAY DAYS > From its modest beginnings in 1991 as a informal, one-day celebration at Walt Disney World at which gay and lesbian participants donned red shirts and traveled around the park together, Gay Days at Disney World, also known as Orlando Gay Days has evolved into one of the world's foremost GLBT celebrations.

Disney employees raised a total of $4.8 million for charity in 2010 by volunteering for various events, including a triathlon for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Revlon Run-Walk for cancer, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County Walk at Disneyland Resort. Groups become ineligible to receive aid from Disney through the company’s volunteer-for-cash programs if they discriminate based on “race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation,” the company said.

The Boy Scouts of America voted last year to maintain a ban on gay Scout leaders, but allowed gay youths to join the Scouts’ ranks.
Scouts for Equality, a group working to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts, voiced support for Disney’s decision to end funding for the Boy Scouts over the banning of gay leaders.

“We’re never happy to see Scouting suffer as a result of the BSA’s anti-gay policy, but Disney made the right decision to withhold support until Scouting is fully inclusive,” Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality co-founder Zach Wahls said.

 
The Dalai Lama Says Gay Marriage is OK Print E-mail
News - World News
Thursday, 06 March 2014 22:13

Dalai-Lama

The Dalai Lama came out in support of marriage equality during a Larry King interview where he said that he is OK with same sex marriage.

Though he has referred to Buddhist texts disallowing same sex intimacy in the past, his views on the subject appear to have evolved over the years. This is the Buddhist leader's clearest affirmation of same-sex marriage to date. After talking about human rights violations with regards to LGBT individuals, especially in Russia, King asked the Dalai Lama, "What about same sex marriage?"

The Dalai Lama responded, "That's up to the country's law," but when King directly asked "What do you feel personally about it?" he responded, "It's OK! I think it's individuals' business."

He added, "If two people, a couple, really feel that way, it’s more practical, more satisfaction, and both sides fully agree, then OK!” Earlier he encouraged people to follow their own personal religious traditions, and to avoid "sexual misconduct."

 
Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-LGBT Bill Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Tech Crunch   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 22:11

Apple has a long history of supporting the LGBT community, and today the company takes yet another step towards marriage equality for everyone. Think different, right?

This time, the fight is going down in Arizona, where governor Jan Brewer has the option to veto bill SB1062. The bill threatens to allow employers to use religious beliefs to discriminate against the LGBT community.

Apple is one of many companies who have come out against the bill, including a number of local organizations such as the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Technology Council, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Eighty-three other companies have also signed on to the letter, opposing the bill and asking the governor to veto it.

However, Apple went a step further than just signing a letter, according to Arizona Capitol Times. A Brewer spokesperson confirmed that Apple placed a call to the governor’s office to speak directly about the matter, which could be pivotal in the governor’s decision.

After all, Apple is about to open a major Sapphire glass plant in the state which is expected to create 2,000 new jobs. Just recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a great speech on LGBT issues, emotionally sharing his own experiences with discrimination. You can check it out below.

Soure : http://techcrunch.com/

 
Chelsea Clinton Calls Gay Rights Activists to Action Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Time Magazine   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 22:17

US-ChelseaClintonChelsea Clinton Calls Gay Rights Activists to Action

Chelsea Clinton called gay rights “the unfinished business of the 21st century” in remarks that closed Human Rights Campaign’s annual conference on Sunday.

“After all the incredible progress we saw in 2013 I think it’s sometimes easy to think that progress actually marks success and that our work can stop on the steps of the supreme court,” Clinton said. “Changing laws and changing the political dialogue, while necessary, is insufficient to ensure that bullying stops, to ensure that every young person is supported by their parents and their teachers as they question who they are and they discover who they are, regardless of their sexuality.”

HRC’s 2014 Time to Thrive conference drew headlines after actress Ellen Page used announced she is gay in a speech to the gathering. Gay rights advocates represent an influential segment of the Democratic Party and are sure to play a sizeable role in deciding the 2016 presidential election, for which Clinton’s mother Hillary is considered a top contender if she runs.

“My mother has often said that the issue of women’s rights is the unfinished business of the 21st century,” Clinton said. “But so too are the issues of LGBTQ rights the unfinished business of the 21st century.”

Read more: Hillary Clinton: Chelsea Calls Gay Activists to Action at HRC Meeting | TIME.com

 
Rainbow Google doodle Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by The Guardian   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 02:44

Rainbow Google doodle links to Olympic charter as Sochi kicks off!

Search engine's logo presented in the colours of the rainbow flag to coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi

Google-gay-doodle

The Google doodle linked to search results for 'Olympic charter'. Photograph: Google

Google has nailed its colours to the mast over Russia's gay rights record in a new Google doodle, which is dedicated to the Olympic charter.

The internet company's logo was presented in the colours of the rainbow flag and also featured images of Winter Games events. The build-up to the Sochi Games, the opening ceremony of which takes place on Friday, has been disrupted by a debate over the apparent conflict between the central principles of the Games and anti-gay laws in Russia.

The doodle linked to search results for "Olympic charter" and quoted from it: "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

There have been widespread protests over the decision to hold the Games in Russia, which bans providing information on homosexuality to under-18s by law. Gay rights activists in 19 cities across the world spoke out earlier this week.

And, in a speech to the International Olympic Committee on Thursday, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, spoke out against attacks on the LGBT community. He said that "many professional athletes, gay and straight, are speaking out against prejudice".

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/technology

 
The Upside of India’s Renewed Ban on Gay Sex Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Time Magazine   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 02:33

A community that was in danger of becoming complacent is now galvanized to political action

India-ban-gay-sex

On the 21st January 2014, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a law that has turned me, along with millions of other Indians, into a sexual criminal.

Four years ago, a lower-court decision struck down this same law, which bans “carnal acts against the order of nature.” Its reversal is a shock to liberal urban India and a significant setback for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people here. And, perhaps most dangerously, it has energized a radical right-wing fringe that no more represents the average live-and-let-live Indian than does RuPaul.

I was born in San Francisco, raised in New Zealand and Michigan, and have lived most of my adult life in the Bay Area. When I visited India in 2009, I was pleasantly surprised to find a vibrant LGBT movement. The night I landed in Mumbai, I ended up at a party where 60 or so lesbian and bisexual women had gathered to dance, drink beer and eat biryani. I wondered aloud to a new friend, “How had I missed this hot queer scene before? Had I been too wrapped up in family and work on previous trips to India in the 1990s?”

“You couldn’t have found us,” she told me. “Back then we would spread the word, by phone, to meet at a certain restaurant at a certain time. Then we’d each show up with a red rose, so we could find each other.”

This revolutionary shift in the lives of LGBT people in India is mostly due to the 2009 decision to reverse an archaic law known as Section 377. Since 1861, the law had been used to harass, blackmail and occasionally prosecute people suspected of engaging in sodomy. Also targeted in recent decades were HIV workers trying to conduct outreach and distribute condoms among transgender people and men who have sex with men.

The “underlying theme of the Indian Constitution … is that of ‘inclusiveness,’” the lower court wrote in 2009. It noted that tolerance for difference is “deeply ingrained in Indian society, nurtured over several generations” and “traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life.”

Since moving to India in 2010, I’ve seen that inclusivity every day; it’s hardly optional, in a dense population where people of all castes and creeds live in close proximity. When it comes to gender expression, visitors are often struck by how Indian men hold hands in the streets openly — not as a romantic act, but as part of a range of masculine affection that’s wider than what is available to most Westerners. The local transgender community, though impoverished and often scorned, has deep historic roots and an acknowledged role in society. Ancient sources of same-sex eroticism and transgender identities in India, from texts to sculpture, are well documented.

Read more at: http://ideas.time.com/2014

India-ban-gay-sex2

 
Olympics-UN chief condemns homophobia before Sochi Games Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Reuters   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 21:51
  • Putin under scrutiny over gay propaganda law
  • UN chief condemns attacks on LGBT community
  • Russia official defends law signed by Putin (Adds more Ban quotes, Kozak, day of protests)

USSR-Sochi-Games

The German publication Spiegel reports that Germany's extremely colorful Olympic uniforms for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games are being called out by many on social media as a silent protest against Russia's anti-gay laws.

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals on Thursday in comments that turned the spotlight on concerns over Russia's "gay propaganda" law at the Winter Olympics.

Ban made no direct reference to gay rights in Russia in a speech to Olympic officials in Sochi, the Black Sea city which is staging the Games, but his remarks underlined the intense scrutiny President Vladimir Putin is under because of the issue.

"Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century," Ban told a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

"We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people... We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face."

Russia, hosting a winter Games for the first time, has come under heavy criticism over the law banning "gay propaganda" among minors because critics say it curtails the rights of homosexuals and discriminates against them.

The outcry has threatened Putin's efforts to use the Games to show how far Russia has come since the Soviet era. He has staked his personal and political prestige on the Games, and said people of "non-traditional" sexual orientation are welcome.

"I know that there has been some controversy over this issue. At the same time I appreciate President Putin for his assurance that there will be no discrimination whatsoever," Ban told reporters after delivering his speech.

Sochi could be "a venue where all the people, regardless of their sexual orientation, LGBT, all these people, will be able to enjoy harmony and friendship and mutual respect," he said.

"LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE"

Putin, who signed the law last summer, says it is intended to protect minors and that homosexuals will not be discriminated against during the Sochi Olympics.

A senior government official echoed that view shortly after Ban's speech, the first delivered by a United Nations secretary general at an International Olympic Committee session.

"We do not differentiate between people depending on their religion, or sexual relations or nationality. We're all grown-ups and every adult has the right to understand their sexuality," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said.

Repeating a phrase used by Putin to defend the law, he told reporters: "Please do not touch kids."

Putin has also tried to show his compatriots are not homophobic by saying many Russians enjoy the music of Elton John, but the gay British singer responded by saying the "gay propaganda" law was "vicious".

Gay rights activists' calls for a boycott of the Games fell on deaf ears but the Russian organisers fear there could be protests.

A planned day of protest in 19 cities across the world on Wednesday failed to draw big crowds. But Telecoms company AT&T, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team, has publicly criticised Russia over the law.

"Russia's law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it's harmful to a diverse society," AT&T said in a blog post headlined: "A Time for Pride and Equality." (Additional reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by Ossian Shine)

By Karolos Grohmann and Timothy Heritage | Source: Reuters

 
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