WOGP (AP & Huffpost) - The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California's law that bars mental counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.
The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state's ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that California lawmakers properly showed that efforts to change sexual orientation were outside the scientific mainstream and have been rejected for good reason.
Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal aid group, had challenged the law along with other supporters of the therapy. They argue that lawmakers have no scientific proof the therapy does harm.
Poll: What is your opinion on this ruling by the US Supreme Court rejecting the law to ban gay therapy?
This is absolutely awesome that Google has gone a step further for Gay Pride Month with a spreadsheet to work with in your home or office, watch the GIF as it will show you how to clearly how to make your online spreadsheet turn into a rainbow for the rest of pride.
All you have to do is type in the words 'Pride' to activate it.. Go ahead and try it.
This is absolutely fabulous... Happy Gay Pride Month everyone!
WASHINGTON, Jun 25 – A top aide to President Barack Obama Tuesday singled out nations including Russia, Uganda and Brunei as the worst transgressors against gay rights — and warned governments everywhere must outlaw discrimination.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice told a forum of Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) activists at the White House that the choice to love a partner of the same sex was a fundamental human right.
“In many places, allies and supporters of the LGBT community are also penalized,” Rice said.
“New laws in Uganda and Nigeria incite the fear of arrest and detention for those who provide health services or defend basic legal rights in court.
“In addition to the pernicious so-called ‘propaganda’ law already on the books, proposed legislation in Russia would allow the government to take children away from their gay parents,” Rice warned.
“In seven countries — eight, if Brunei continues on its path — same-sex acts are punishable by death.”
Rice said that laws limiting gay rights around the world often have strong public support and that it was up to local authorities to ensure that cultural differences did not become an excuse for human rights violations.
“Governments are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, and it is incumbent upon the state, and upon each of us, to foster tolerance and reverse the tide of discrimination.”
Obama has made a point of putting the fight for LGBT rights around the world at the center of US foreign policy.
Washington for instance, last week cancelled a military air exercise, imposed visa bans and froze some aid to Uganda over what it said was the country’s “vile” anti-gay laws.
Last year, while on a trip to Senegal, Obama told Africans that people should be treated equally under the law whatever their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
In February, Obama included gay athletes in the US delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics to show the United States would not abide discrimination in international sport.
The move followed a warning by a senior Russian official that athletes or spectators should not promote gay rights during the Olympics following the passage of controversial anti-gay legislation in Russia.
(LUXEMBOURG) — Today makes a wonderful step towards another European country that will now embrace Marriage Equality. Luxembourg is now the 13th European country to now allow all gay couples the same rights as their heterosexual friends and families, the other 12 European countries include Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, France, Iceland, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and Scotland.
Lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation’s legislation governing marriage that will allow people of the same sex to wed and to adopt children.
The Chamber of Deputies voted 56-4 to adopt the bill, which is said to be part of the most fundamental rewrite of Luxembourg’s laws on marriage since 1804. Its website said the new rules could take effect in early 2015, or six months after their official publication.
The Human Rights Campaign, a U.S.-based organization in favor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, said Wednesday’s vote makes Luxembourg the world’s 19th nation to grant “full marriage rights” to all of its citizens.
Xavier Bettel, who became Luxembourg’s prime minister in December, is openly gay.
A family court judge in Texas has ruled that two fathers, a legally married same-sex couple who each biologically fathered one of two twin boys, cannot have their names appear on their own children’s birth certificates. The judge handed down his decision just days before Father’s Day. Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs married last year in Washington, D.C. While the federal government recognizes their legal civil marriage, the Lone Star State does not.
Jason and Joe worked with a surrogate mother — not the egg donor — and each parent biologically fathered one of two eggs, making Lucas and Ethan, their twin boys, biological half-brothers. The married couple want to make them their legal children — a desire so basic it would be unquestionable if they were a different-sex couple. But Texas says not only can each father not jointly-adopt their spouse’s biological child, even their own child cannot have their biological father’s name on their birth certificate.
“Fatherhood is absolutely amazing,” Jason told their local Dallas-Fort Worth Fox TV station. “We have been blessed with two healthy little boys.”
But not with a state government that understands same-sex couples deserve all the same rights and responsibilities as every other legally-married couple.
“On one hand, it’s a little scary because as of right now, we don’t have full parental rights of our own biological children,” Jason told the Fox station.
“Actually, I think that’s what surprised me the most was a family court,” said Riggs. “I guess I expected them to be looking out for the best interest of our kids, and I felt we walked out that day and it wasn’t in the best interest of our kids.”
“Ultimately, we’re talking about is what’s better: one parent or two parents?” said Riggs. “For me, it’s two parents. It’s a no brainer!”
Fortunately, GLAAD is getting involved.
“Neither Jason nor Joe are listed as fathers on either of their sons’ birth certificates, which the men have not been able to see,” GLAAD’s Alexandra Bolles reports. “They petitioned a judge in their county to add each of their names to their biological sons’ birth certificates and to cross-adopt, or second-parent adopt, the boys. The judge has denied the family both requests.”
In Texas, as in 17 other states, the law is “unclear” as to whether LGBT parents can jointly adopt, meaning such family protections vary from judge to judge or county to county. Because Texas does not recognize Jason and Joe’s marriage, says the couple, second-parent adoption is much harder to achieve.
Watch video here:
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, Google has added a colorful rainbow to contextually appropriate searches that contain the words “gay”, “lgbtq”, “lesbian”, “transgender”, "bisexual" or “queer”.
Google has commemorated Gay Pride Month in previous years with various flags and colors; this year’s variant adds a kaleidoscopic rainbow banner to contextually sensitive terms, which means you’ll get it when you search for “Gay Rights” or similar, but not for (as is always the classically cited counter-example, if you must), 1934′s The Gay Divorcee.
Gay Google (2014) [Google Operating System]
For foes of same-sex marriage in the US, their losing streak keeps growing. Some sense a lost cause, others vow to fight on.
On Election Day in 2012, they went 0-for-4 on state ballot measures. A year ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must recognise same-sex marriages. And over the past seven months, more than a dozen federal and state judges have struck down part or all of state-level bans on gay marriage, with no rulings going the other way.
Faced with these developments, some longtime opponents of gay marriage now say that its nationwide legalisation via a Supreme Court ruling is inevitable. Others refuse to concede, and some leaders of that cohort will be rallying Thursday at a March for Marriage in Washington that they hope will draw many thousands.
The event's main sponsor is the National Organization for Marriage, which engaged in several successful state campaigns against gay marriage prior to the 2012 votes in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state that reversed the tide.
NOM is promoting the march with a website that evokes a "road to victory" and a video featuring dramatic background music.
"A competition is won by those who take the field, not by those who sit on the sidelines," NOM's president, Brian Brown, exhorts his supporters. "Friends, we need to take the field for marriage - and fight to win."
Brown, in a telephone interview, said his best-case scenario hinged on a future ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the right of states to set their own marriage laws, rather than imposing same-sex marriage nationwide. Such a ruling would strengthen the position of the 31 states that currently ban gay marriage and might encourage grass-roots efforts in some of the other states to reimpose bans, Brown said.
"We'd put this back in the hands of the democratic process," Brown said. "We would have the people deciding for themselves."
If the Supreme Court ruled the other way, legalising gay marriage nationwide, "We won't go away," Brown said.
He envisioned a resistance campaign comparable to that waged by the anti-abortion movement since the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established a nationwide right to abortion.
"In the next year or so, we'll either have a massive victory at the Supreme Court, or we'll need to fight for 10, 20 years to undo the damage that the court has done," Brown said.
Among the scheduled speakers at the march is Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group that has fought in court on behalf of laws banning gay marriage.
Nimocks argues that America would be better off if the Supreme Court allowed the current split among the states to continue, along with the public debate over the repercussions of gay marriage.
"America has not fallen apart because some states have same-sex marriage and others do not," he said. "We've been managing that for 10 years."
While Nimocks and Brown are optimistic that the Supreme Court won't impose same-sex marriage, other veterans of the fight against it think differently.
"Let's face it: Anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn't been observing what's going on," Sen. Orrin Hatch, a seven-term conservative Republican from Utah, told a radio interviewer last month.
Maggie Gallagher, a former president of the National Organization for Marriage, also expects that outcome. In a recent blog post, she said gay-marriage opponents needed to regroup and recognise that they have become "a subculture facing a dominant culture."
"The way you keep a movement going is to define achievable victories," she said in an interview. "The marriage movement is in the process of trying to figure out what that is."
A leading advocate of same-sex marriage, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, said his adversaries have been placed in an ever-weakening position by trends in public opinion polls and by the recent court rulings. One after another, the judges have said they heard no convincing argument why gay couples should be denied the marriage rights afforded to opposite-sex couples.
"All the defences of discrimination conjured up by the dwindling hard-core of opponents have been exposed as indefensible, insufficient, or untrue," said Wolfson.
In the political realm, Democrats increasingly see advocacy of gay marriage as a winning position, while the Republican Party - whose 2012 national platform opposes gay marriage - is now experiencing some divisions.
In several states, some GOP leaders have objected to planks in the state party platform that oppose same-sex marriage. Also, several of the GOP governors whose states are among those allowing gay marriage have accepted the new reality rather than continue railing against it.
In Congress, conservative Republicans have introduced two bills opposing same-sex marriage, but neither has drawn strong support even within GOP ranks. One would require the federal government to defer to state marriage laws, including those banning gay marriage; the other would amend the US Constitution to limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman.
Amid the string of defeats in court, many opponents of gay marriage have focused their wrath on the judges making those decisions.
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, depicted the rulings as "judicial tyranny." Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - who'll be a featured speaker at Thursday's march - called for the impeachment of the judge who struck down his state's gay-marriage ban.
"When members of the judiciary act as if they were entitled to the power of all three branches of government, it creates a disturbing abuse of power," Huckabee said in an email to The Associated Press.
Some conservative groups have launched fundraising appeals decrying recent cases where prominent people lost jobs or business opportunities because of their opposition to same-sex marriage. The Family Research Council, for example, depicted as "thuggery" the pressure that led to the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who had supported a 2008 campaign against gay marriage in California.
"Our ability to express ourselves in the public sphere must never be repressed by the tyranny of political correctness," wrote the council's president, Tony Perkins, in a letter to supporters. "We must never submit to the radical leftist redefinition of human sexuality."
Perkins' group is a co-sponsor of Thursday's march, as is the Coalition of African-American Pastors. The coalition's leader, the Rev. Bill Owens, says he will intensify his advocacy work in black churches, seeking to make the case that same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue.
Another co-sponsor is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which is organising a bus fleet to carry parishioners to the march.
One of the scheduled speakers is the Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who chairs the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' subcommittee on the promotion and defence of marriage.
A coalition of liberal politicians and gay-rights leaders in California has issued an open letter to Cordileone, urging him to skip the march. Many of the other scheduled speakers "have repeatedly denigrated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," said the letter, suggesting the archbishop shouldn't align with such viewpoints.
Along with the Catholic Church, several other major denominations remain adamant in opposing same-sex marriage.
"We stand strong on what the Scripture says about marriage between a man and a woman," said the Rev. Ronnie Floyd after his recent election as new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
A top Mormon leader reiterated opposition to gay marriage during the biannual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April.
"While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not," said Neil Andersen.
Are you serious Rick, get off the grass as its 2014 not 1914. It's comments and statements like these from the political right who make absurd assumptions with comparing these stupid claims especially on homosexuality and have no evidence or facts to back their claim on the two comparisons. On Wednesday, Perry made a startling comparison between alcoholism and homosexuality: both are pretty much the same…you know, in the same way that pepper spray is a food product (RIGHT, Megyn Kelly?).
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said during an appearance at the Commonwealth Club of California.
Perry spoke, of course, in favor of the Texas GOP’s recent adoption of “reparative therapy,” a discredited practice of using self-hatred and shame to change a person’s sexual orientation.
“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that,” he said, “And I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
Perry has used the “gays are the same as alcoholics” rhetoric before. In his 2008 book, On My Honor, Perry wrote, “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” adding, “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”
Perry is stepping down as Governor at the end of his current term, and may be running for President in 2016.
Watch video here:
FRC Pres. is urging families to pull children out of public schools after DC principal comes out as gay
We have first hand knowledge coming from right wing watch source from RightWing Watch that the Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is urging parents across the country to pull their children out of public schools in response to a Washington, D.C., principal’s decision to come out to his students and school staff.
The principal of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington D.C. publicly announced that he is gay at a Pride Day event yesterday, thanking students and community members for their support.
Perkins was of course appalled, urging his Washington Watch listeners yesterday to pull their kids from public schools: “If you have your children in the public schools, unless you’re in a district where you know exactly what’s going on in some rural part of the country where values are still embraced, you really need to think about whether or not you want to expose your kids to what’s happening in our public school system. I would encourage you to look for other alternatives.”
“Eighty-three percent of the students coming out of the District of Columbia are not proficient in reading skills, but they know how to celebrate gay pride,” Perkins said. “As we drop further and further in the global ranking of math and science scores, at least our kids will understand sex-ed. Amazing.”
Below is some audio of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins -
A draft of the Texas Republican Party's new platform embraces gay conversion therapy, arguing that it is a viable option for "patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle."
The Texas GOP convention kicks off Thursday, and one of the tasks of delegates is rewriting the party's platform.
The current document, adopted in 2012,sharply condemns equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. There are multiple sections dealing with the issue, including language that reads: "We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans."
According to a draft of the new platform obtained by the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle, that language is gone. It still, however, contains a section criticizing homosexuality:
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
More reading here at Huffpost - Feel free to take the POLL just below on the matter of this subject...
A blog with news, stories, events, debate and more all dedicated the LGBTQ community.