MOBILE, Ala. - May 21, 2015 – A federal district court today ordered that all Alabama probate judges must comply with the U.S. Constitution and may not refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples after four leading civil rights organizations requested the court expand a lawsuit to cover all same-sex couples and probate judges statewide. The district court's order will take effect when the United States Supreme Court issues its decision in several pending cases seeking the freedom to marry in four states. The Supreme Court marriage cases were argued in April, and a ruling is expected by the end of June.
(Salem, OR, May 21, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Human Rights Campaign applaud Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for signing House Bill 2307 into law, making Oregon the fourth jurisdiction—behind California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia—to protect LGBT youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
HRC Urges Boy Scouts of America to Take Full Step to Equality by Adopting National Policy of LGBT Inclusion
WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today acknowledged the movement of the Boy Scouts of America and its president, Robert Gates, toward broader inclusion, but reiterated its call to make full LGBT equality a national policy.
WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 - Today, BuzzFeed News broke the news that numerous Senators have signed a bi-partisan letter strongly urging Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to update the military "equal opportunity policies across the Department of Defense (DoD) and Military Services to prevent discrimination, harassment or intimidation of service members based on sexual orientation." The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised the letter and urged Secretary Carter to take immediate action.
DETROIT - May 21, 2015 -The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Michigan announced on Thursday that they have filed a federal lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State challenging a department policy that makes it impossible for many transgender individuals to correct the gender on their driver's licenses and other forms of identification.
5 Actions the Obama Administration Can Take Immediately to Improve the Lives of LGBT Service Members & Veterans
WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 – Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense strongly urging him to update equal opportunity policies across the Department of Defense"to prevent discrimination, harassment or intimidation of service members based on sexual orientation" – an important step the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, has repeatedly called for. Today HRC thanked the Senators for their call to action and highlighted five steps the Obama Administration can take immediately in both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to advance fairness and equality for our nation's LGBT service members and veterans who continue to face unique challenges and discrimination even after the successful repeal of"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. – May 20, 2015- The Robert H. Jackson Center will host a program titled"A Discussion of Bourke, et al. v. Beshear: A Conversation with Paul Campion & Randell Johnson," plaintiffs in one of the pending U.S. Supreme Court cases on marriage" at 7 p.m. on Saturday June 13th.
NEW YORK (May 20, 2015) – GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, applauded Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature for passing and signing into law an anti-bullying bill that specifically protects students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nevada joins 17 other states and Washington, D.C., as having laws that specifically prohibit bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 19, 2015 – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today helped introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, the first federal bill aimed at preventing so-called "conversion therapy."
NEW YORK (May 17, 2015) – GLSEN's Chief Research & Strategy Officer, Dr. Joe Kosciw, made the following statement in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, celebrated on May 17.
WASHINGTON - May 20, 2015 — Sen. Ted Cruz – a consistent opponent of marriage equality at every turn – is now apparently lashing out at having to answer questions about why he has chosen to make anti-LGBT positions his political calling card. The Texas Tribune reported that when asked about marriage equality, Cruz accused progressives and the media of being"obsessed with sex."
WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015 — Today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's efforts to pass one of his top priorities, anti-LGBT HB 707, were dealt a major setback. By a bipartisan vote of 10-2 to"return to calendar without amendments," the bill was potentially killed for the session. Jindal, who has variously been named the nation's least popular governor in 2013, 2014, and who hit a new low in another state poll just days ago, now says that he will circumvent the legislature and issue an executive order that would enable discrimination against LGBT residents.
GLSEN Applauds Oregon Legislature and Governor Brown for Protecting LGBT Youth by Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors
NEW YORK (May 14, 2015) – GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, thanked Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the state's Legislature for passing and signing into law a ban on the use of conversion therapy on minors. Oregon joins California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., as the only regions that ban conversion therapy, also known as"reparative therapy," and is the first state to do so since President Obama called for an end to the practice last month.
HARRISBURG, Pa. May 18, 2015 — The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC), Pennsylvania's first and only youth-led statewide LGBT advocacy organization, is announcing today that it is changing its name to the Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) and refocusing its mission on statewide policy work:
(Washington, DC, May 19, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds U.S. Congressman Ted W. Lieu’s introduction of the Therapeutic Fraud Act, the first nationwide bill that would protect LGBT people from the dangers of conversion therapy. Lieu announced the bill this morning at a press conference attended by survivors of conversion therapy, members of the mental health and medical community, faith leaders, and representatives from NCLR, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Sothern Poverty Law Center.
WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015 – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) will introduce the"Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act" – the first federal legislation to prohibit the practice of providing"conversion therapy" to any person in exchange for monetary compensation or advertising such services. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called for Congress to rally behind the important legislation in order to end this dangerous and discredited practice of discrimination against LGBT people.
With LGBT Youth In Foster Care Facing Bias and Discrimination, HRC Issues Call to Action to Address Crisis
WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with FosterClub, a national network for youth in foster care, released an issue brief detailing the hostile treatment experienced by many LGBT and questioning youth in foster care, and the shocking lack of laws and policies protecting them.
As a community we not only have the ability, but also the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of our children and the well-being of students in our schools. This can be achieved through education and inspiration, which is why we are proud to announce the following FREE community event; The "STOP THE VIOLENCE" Film Festival, hosted by the Jamestown Pride Society will be held at the Jamestown Community College Hamilton Collegiate Center (Student Union) on May 30, 2015 from noon to 9 PM. The goal of the event is to educate on the continued issue of bullying within our schools and community and provide resources that exist to battle this problem. As you read this, students in our country are currently being bullied and assaulted while others are contemplating suicide as a way out of the problem. Its time that we stand up and address this by providing options and showing solutions. Doing so will be achieved in the following ways. Through the screening of four informative and inspiring award winning films including "Out in the Silence" which was filmed locally. Through the screening of student films from Jamestown High School, through the educational words of guest speakers such as those who have lived through bullying locally and through the presentations of organizations such as the Western New York Anti-Violence Project that has already made a difference and can do the same in our own community. Infinity performing arts will be providing entertainment at the event! Many businesses and organizations have answered the call to "STAND UP AGAINST BULLYING" by agreeing to be present for this event where they will be selling crafts, gifts, refreshments or distributing information on their products or services. Popcorn is unlimited and free to all attendants. This is an all ages event! The event runs from noon to 9pm. A full schedule of activities and more information can be found at jamestownpride.com. As a community, it's important that we all stand up together to show that we are united in the fight to end bullying.
On April 15, 2015, the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held the first of four GEAE Celebrate Nights for 2015, honoring LGBT Icons and Allies of Erie, at Calamari's Squid Row, 1317 State St, Erie PA. At the inaugural Celebrate Night, Michael Mahler was honored for his many years of activism.
NW PA Pride Alliance is very excited to bring you this year's Pride shirts, as well as some new Pride merchandise! This helps make Pride possible. This year, we will again have V-neck shirts. V-neck shirts are sizes small to 3XL ($18 for sizes small to XL, $20 for t-shirts 2XL & 3XL), and tank tops are sizes small to 2XL ($19 for tank tops sizes small to XL, and $20 for tank tops size 2 XL.) On the back of the shirt are all of the sponsors helping to being Pride to you this year, and a listing of the great events happening in our community! Cash and credit/debit cards are accepted for payment. Shirts can also be ordered online at www.nwpapride.org.
Transgender student Oliver Morgan. 15, was chosen prom king at Tidioute Community Charter School. The administration initially stripped Oliver of the title, but after they learned of his transgender status, they reinstated him, giving Oliver and his girlfriend, Hannah a reason to celebrate and a night to remember. Read more about this story on Daily KOS, Planet Transgender or check out the Allyvia for Prom King! Facebook group.
The Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance (NW Alliance) has provided HIV services in the Erie community for over twenty years. Two new employees have recently joined the NW Alliance team and will be working in the Erie Office, Thanh Huynh and Sonny Concepcion. Thanh and Sonny will be providing and expanding the quality services of the NW Alliance.
Those of you who saw Erie's Perry 200 Parade or have been to the Millcreek 4th of July parade or the NWPA Pride Alliance's annual Pride Parade the last few years have probably noticed that we had a pretty good sized float rolling down the street behind a big, grey truck. What you may not know is that we had that float because NWPA Pride put out a call for trucks or trailers or pretty much anything that could be decorated and trotted out. The universe answered that call with a message from a man from Seven Springs, PA named Ben Heggy.
My partner and I have been together for about 3 years now. At the beginning the sex was great, now it's almost non-existent, but we still love each other very much. A while back we started having 3-ways with other guys, and that was cool. But, in the last few months, he told me he's not into those anymore and he wants to have an open relationship where each of us does our own thing sexually. This isn't my preference, but I went along with it (I'm not very assertive). Now he's never home; when he's not at work, he's almost always out having sex. On weekends, he's on the computer for 3-4 hours a day looking to hook up. It feels like our relationship is falling apart. Am I married to a sex addict?
Dramashop proudly presents Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches on stage in Erie for the first time, running June 12-27, as part of Dramashop's 2014-15 Mainstage Series . Dramashop is located on the 2nd floor of the Renaissance Center at 10th and Sstate, Erie PA.
The Table is a group of people who long for a community where we can belong, love and care for each other and the community around us, try to follow Jesus and grow spiritually without being caught in the politics and hurtful behaviors of the institutionalized church. We are not perfect. We still make mistakes and hurt each other. However, we are committed to working through our differences in love and gentleness, allowing the grace and mercy of a loving God to heal and reconcile us when we do make those mistakes. We hope that, by doing so, we can BE the church rather than attend or support a church. We welcome people of every age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, educational level, socio-economic status and faith background. While we are unapologetically attempting to follow God in the way of Jesus, we are open to learning from and providing community for people of other faiths and for those who are questioning and exploring faith.
To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Sunday, May 17, Jessica Stern, executive director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, made the following comments:
May 13, 2015 -- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is working with Disney to lead businesses toward creating workplaces that are welcoming and inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. Disney and Out & Equal will host an LGBT Equality Institute workshop at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
McLEAN, Va. (May 13, 2015) – GLSEN Northern Virginia's Co-Chair, David Aponte, made the following statement on the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee's recommendations to the Fairfax County School Board, updating the Family Life Education program for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to include issues of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression for middle and high school students. These recommendations will be introduced as new business on May 21 and voted on at the school board's meeting on June 25.
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia HRC Shows Solidarity with Global LGBT Movement
WASHINGTON - May 15, 2015 –– Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video celebrating the eleventh-annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This year's IDAHOT theme is"youth," celebrating LGBT youth and their contributions to their communities. In the video, HRC's youth ambassadors - a group of young LGBT activists living in the United States who were chosen for their courage and commitment to speaking out on issues affecting LGBT youth - send a message of solidarity against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and all forms of hate facing LGBT people across the globe.
Gambian President Jammeh's Vicious Threats and Anti-LGBT Human Rights Abuses Require Greater White House Action
WASHINGTON - May 15, 2015 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joined the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) to urge the Obama Administration to take additional action against Gambian leaders as the regime continues to persecute LGBT citizens, calling on the White House to condemn the horrific human rights abuses taking place across The Gambia.
WASHINGTON - May 14, 2015 – Yesterday, by a vote of 36 to 6, the Nevada Assembly passed a sweeping anti-bullying initiative seeking to ensure the safety and well being of the state's youth. The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the passage of the bill that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval who sponsored the bill.
HRC and Gender Proud Launch Partnership to Raise Visibility of the Transgender Community and Their Rights in the Philipp
WASHINGTON - May 13, 2015 - Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and Gender Proud, a transgender advocacy and awareness organization, announced a three-city public education campaign to inform the public about, and destigmatize the lives of, transgender people in the Philippines.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Governor Herbert Support WCF's Hate-a-Palooza
WASHINGTON - May 13, 2015 –– Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, strongly condemned the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their support of and possible participation in the upcoming World Congress of Families (WCF) conference in Salt Lake City later this year.
LITTLE ROCK May 12, 2015 - Despite the efforts of anti-LGBT activists in Arkansas, equality continues to prevail in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Residents voted (579-231) to uphold a comprehensive, city-wide non-discrimination ordinance that was originally passed by the Eureka Springs city council in February. The new legislation will ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations against people based on their race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, and a number of other important categories. While other ordinances that have recently passed in Arkansas cities like Little Rock and Hot Springs only protect city employees and city contractors, the ordinance in Eureka Springs applies to all citizens. Following tonight's result, HRC Arkansas State Director Kendra R. Johnson released the following statement:
WASHINGTON - May 12, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the release of draft guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a long-awaited change to the current scientifically unwarranted blood donation ban on gay and bisexual men. The draft guidance outlines the implementation of a deferral based policy utilizing a one year period of abstinence from same-sex sexual activity for men.
My body is telling me to slow down, even while my mind says go, go, go.
(Salem, Oregon, May 7, 2015)—Today, the Oregon State Senate passed HB 2307, a bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the State House on March 17 and is now heading to the desk of Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign it into law.
As Huckabee Puts Hate on Display in Hope, Hot Springs Presents a Brighter Vision for Arkansas' Future
LITTLE ROCK - May 6, 2015 - Last night, the city of Hot Springs took a tremendously important step forward in the fight for inclusiveness and equality under the law for all Arkansans. Its powerful actions stand in remarkable contrast to the vision for America that former Governor Mike Huckabee, who earlier that morning announced his presidential campaign up the road in Hope, offers the nation.
For too long, the responsibility to tell about child abuse has been on the children. We teach kids they have the right to say NO, then GO and TELL a trusted adult—a very good lesson! However, if we don't educate adults on what to do when those children come to them and disclose abuse, we as a community fail those kids.
WASHINGTON - May 8, 2015 – On Tuesday, the Texas House of Representatives is expected to vote on HB 4105, a last ditch effort to shamefully try to stop marriage equality in the state as the Supreme Court considers a case that could lead to nationwide marriage equality. Prohibiting state or local employees from recognizing, granting, or enforcing a same-sex marriage licence or any funds being used for an activity to license or support these marriages, the bill is among more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation being considered by the Texas legislature.
With Nearly 50,000 HIV Diagnoses Each Year, New HRC Guide Provides Crucial Advice On Prevention, Treatment, and Sexual H
WASHINGTON - May 6, 2015- Today, just hours after Grammy Award-winning music legend Elton John urged Congress to bolster its fight against AIDS, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, in collaboration with AIDS United, released a guide on HIV prevention and care, as well as a unique online Q&A feature. This new resource is supported in part by a grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
WASHINGTON May 6, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the passage by the Hawaii state legislature last night of a vital measure that will ensure transgender people are able to change their birth certificates to reflect their correct name and gender without unnecessarily expensive and invasive obstacles. Governor David Ige is expected to sign the legislation into law.
WASHINGTON - May 6, 2015 — Today, major child advocacy groups joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in opposing an extreme anti-LGBT adoption bill in Texas that is dangerously close to becoming law.
May 4, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal on behalf of Michelle Kosilek, a transgender woman who has been denied essential health care while serving a prison sentence in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC). The denial marks the end of the road legally in Kosilek's lengthy struggle to receive appropriate care while in prison.
Way Older Than Cell Phones: Even Expert Opposing Equality Conceded Same-Sex Unions Have Been Around for Millennia
WASHINGTON - April 30, 2015 – Two days after the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Human Rights Campaign joined with the legal team from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher that challenged California's ban on marriage equality to highlight key testimony from Hollingsworth v. Perry which shows that marriage between same-sex couples has a lengthy history, stretching back thousands of years.
From Philadelphia Gay News, April 30, 2015 - There is a national spotlight on the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT demonstrations in front of Independence Hall that took place every July 4 from 1965-69. While it was a pivotal change in the struggle for equality, some are revising our history out of context by stating it is the 50th anniversary of the LGBT movement. That simply is not true.
(Washington, D.C., April 29, 2015)—The following can be attributed to National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.
National Faith Leaders Sign Letter Urging Lawmakers to Reject Anti-LGBT Discrimination Bills Cloaked Falsely in 'Religio
WASHINGTON - April 29, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that 17 national religious leaders, from California to the nation's capital, added their names to a historic statement calling for an end to "religious refusal" bills that allow discrimination against LGBT people.
WASHINGTON DC - April 29, 2015 -- Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on four marriage equality cases -- an important step in the movement toward winning full LGBTQ equality under the law. For many LGBTQ individuals, however, the day was complicated by the painful reminder of the ongoing fight to end police brutality and state-imposed violence as people took to the streets of Baltimore just 40 miles north of DC.
Join us for the 23rd Annual Erie Pride Picnic on Saturday, June 6 at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle (near Beach 7) from 1 to 6 PM. Enjoy a great day with friends—it's free! Please note that this year's picnic is the first weekend in June, rather than the second. Start your Pride off right, and then enjoy Pittsburgh Pride or Youngstown Pride the weekend following Erie Pride Picnic
We would like to invite you to take a new survey about your opinions and preferences, from an LGBT perspective. There's power in our Pride! Participating in this study helps open doors-and minds-around the world, and influences positive changes for our community. Previous surveys have yielded 45,000 respondents from 150 countries! You may have seen Community Marketing & Insights quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, etc.
How should a dyke or a gay man celebrate the winter holidays? 'm pretty spiritual, but I'm nowhere near religious. What if I don't observe any of the holy days this time of year, but celebrate the spirit of all of them? I've had Christmas trees with Solstice lights and a menorah burning on the mantle. I've wrapped speculums in aluminum foil and hung them from a collective Solstice tree. I spent one Christmas Day crying into my Crystal Geyser over a break up, fearing the season had been ruined forever.