Monday, March 2, 2015

Nebraska Lifts Ban On LGBT Foster Parenting

Without fanfare, Nebraska lifts ban on gay people being foster parents

Nebraska child welfare officials have quietly abandoned a controversial 20-year-old policy that bars gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents.
According to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ spokesman, the state’s current procedure no longer considers the sexual orientation of people seeking to foster or adopt state wards.

Nor does the procedure bar children from being placed with licensed foster parents simply because of the parents’ sexual orientation.

Federal Judge In Nebraska Rules For Marriage Equality

According to an order filed in federal court Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said "all relevant state officials are ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage."
The order is effective March 9 at 8 a.m.
Bataillon writes of Nebraska's gay marriage ban: "it is time to bring this unequal provision to an end," saying that the state's voter-passed banned on gay marriage, "is an unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens."
He goes on to write, "With the advent of modern science and modern adoption laws, same sex couples can and do responsibly raise children. Unfortunately, this law inhibits their commendable efforts."
Within moments of Judge Bataillon's injunction, the State of Nebraska filed an appeal.
Attorney General Doug Peterson's office requested "emergency relief" and "immediate docketing" with the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. That court is in Missouri.
The ACLU Nebraska posted this statement from executive director Danielle Conrad on its Facebook page after the ruling:
"Today is a day for celebration. The love and commitment our clients share will finally be entitled to equality and respect in the eyes of the law. Today, Nebraska’s motto of “equality before the law” rings true for gay and lesbian Nebraskans who seek to have their marriages recognized or who seek the freedom to marry right here in our great state."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cover Boy: Nick Jonas For ICON Magazine

On "Acting" Straight or Gay - 2 Takes

where coming out as a gay actor didn't hurt or hinder in the case of Tovey and where even if an actor/actress wanted to come out the system is against them

If you’ve followed Tovey’s acting career (and he’s one of those exceptionals, I think, who encourage long-term, almost parental interest from role to role) you might have noticed a gear change a couple of years back. Tovey, who lives with his boyfriend in east London, started playing gay men
 “I was so envious of everyone who went to Sylvia Young Theatre School. I wanted to go but my dad flat-out refused. He thought I’d become some tapdancing freak without qualifications. And he was right in a way. I’m glad I didn’t go. That might have changed…”
Tovey thinks carefully about what he’s going to say next. If I had to guess, watching him fidget, I’d say he’s weighing up whether to be honest at the risk of causing offence, or whether to divert and say something bland. He chooses to risk offence. “I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn’t gone to the school I went to. Where I felt like I had to toughen up. If I’d have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path. Because it’s probably given me the unique quality that people think I have.”
The quality he means is a rare kind of pigeonhole-resistance. “I get told, a lot, that I’m kind of carving my own path. That there are not many actors who are out and are able to play straight, and gay, and everyone’s OK with it.”

Dustin Lance Black: ‘Agents have to grow a spine and let gay actors come out’

Hollywood is packed with LGBTI people and the studios want to support them but agents and managers stop people coming out.
That’s according to Oscar-winning Milk writer – and Tom Daley’s boyfriend – Dustin Lance Black.
Black said: ‘The truth is there are tons of lesbian and gay actors in Hollywood. But for so many years now at agent level and management level there has been a lot of closeting going on.
‘The studios are on our side, the producers are on our side but we hit the wall with agents and managers. They think somehow it is going to hurt their bottom line.
‘It is outdated thinking. Young actors are coming out now, there is no going back into the closet. So managers and agents will have to grow up and get a spine.’
It is going to take diversity initiatives. It is going to take studios with balls to hire diverse writers so they can start writing what they know and we get more diverse stories.’

Cover Boy: James Franco GQ Japan

Today's GIF GIFT: Chris Evans

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Transgendered Kellie Maloney Helping UKIP's #Pinkwashing

MIRROR.CO.UK: Ukip conference: Kellie Maloney wins standing ovation after tearful appeal for tolerance

Ex-boxing promoter Kellie Maloney fought back tears today during an emotional speech at the Ukip conference in Margate.

Ms Maloney, formerly known as Frank before her gender reassignment, brought the conference to near silence as she read out a poem about a transexual who had committed suicide.

Ms Maloney, who helped steer boxing legend Lennox Lewis to becoming World Heavyweight Champion in 1999, also used the conference to apologise to Britain’s gay community for a “derogatory remark” she made before become a woman.

In 2004, while campaigning to be elected Ukip’s London Mayor, Ms Maloney said she would not campaign in Camden because there were "too many gays".

Speaking from the podium after being introduced by Ukip Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall, Ms Maloney said: "I have learned to say sorry and apologise if I am wrong.

"I made a terrible mistake in 2004 when I made a derogatory remark about the gay community, and to them I apologise.

"I had to come to terms with myself and accept that I was a transsexual. It is something I hid and something I fought.

DAILY MAIL:The longtime Ukip supporter was also praised by Nigel Farage as proof that his party was 'open to everyone'.
Ms Maloney also said she hoped to help people understand more about transsexual issues and added 'we are human beings too'.
She was given a standing ovation after reading a poem from two children to their transsexual parent who had committed suicide.
'This poem I am going to read is a really personal poem for me and my family,' she said. 
'Both my daughters and I met this brother and sister and my daughters feared they might have to do this at my funeral but we pulled through all our dark moments.' 
The audience broke into applause to show their support when Ms Maloney's voice started to crack during the reading. 
(for some strange reason the video is blocked on websites and on you tube)

Is Ukip a party of bigots? Let's look at the evidence

Their manifesto might just look like a list of things that annoy people, but party members hold some views that should concern us, says Alex Andreou.


Ousted MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who came out as a lesbian, won a sexual discrimination case against UKIP after refusing to sit with its homophobic allies in the European parliament. 
On a private members’ forum, senior UKIP member and former parliamentary candidate Dr Julia Gasper claimed some homosexuals prefer sex with animals. The Mirror reported her as saying: “As for the links between homosexuality and paedophilia, there is so much evidence that even a full-length book could hardly do justice to the ­subject.” (Ironically, UKIP General Secretary Jonathan Arnott had banned a discussion on the site on gay issues, because he feared that someone “is going to screenshoot comments and send them to a newspaper”.) She was sacked.
More recently a UKIP Croydon North candidate tweeted: "A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don't believe (a gay couple) is healthy for a child." He did so, after retweeting an article written by a National Front supporter who claimed there was "no such thing as homophobia". He was sacked.
However, Olly Neville, the former UKIP Youth Chairman, was also sacked for supporting same-sex marriage. Sack them all, as long as we don’t have to talk about it, seems to be the policy.

Ugly face of UKIP: Sunday Mirror exposes racist and homophobic views of party members

Ukip's choice of a homophobe in a by-election tells you all you need to know

Ukip's by-election candidate, Roger Helmer, thinks homosexuality is 'abnormal and undesirable'. Alice Arnold hopes this decision by the oh-so-entertaining Nigel Farage will finally reveal how unrespectable the hottest political party in town really is

Photo of the Day: Alan Cumming's Instagram #celibacychallenge
The FDA recently announced that gay and bisexual men may finally be allowed to donate blood after being banned for life since the ’80s—but only if they remain celibate for one year.

So straight guys can have safe sex with woman after woman and still donate blood. But gay and bi men who have had safe sex for an entire year—even with a monogamous partner—would still be banned. Sounds like discrimination to us.

Sign this petition to pressure the FDA to screen all prospective blood donors based on risk, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Fight For Justice & Equality In Alabama CONTINUES

Adoption by same-sex parent recognized by Alabama appeals court An Alabama appeals court ruled on Friday that the state must recognize the out-of-state adoption of three children by the estranged wife of their birth mother, lawyers for the plaintiff said.

The decision comes as a handful of Alabama judges have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a federal ruling, and as another same-sex couple in Mobile has sued seeking similar adoption rights.
Friday's ruling applies to a case involving an Alabama couple who married in Georgia. One of the women, both of whom are referred to in court documents by their initials, gave birth to three children via insemination, and the other legally adopted them in Georgia.
When their relationship ended, the biological mother kept her former spouse from seeing the children, and the latter sued for visitation rights in Alabama, where they both lived, lawyers for the plaintiff said.
"We are elated that our client and her children will not be kept apart, and that the Alabama Court of Appeals correctly applied black and white constitutional law requiring all states to recognize court orders from other states, including adoptions by same-sex parents,” said Cathy Sakimura, an attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which represented the plaintiff.

Tis The Season: The Battle Over St. Patricks Day Parades Begins Again

Catholic school quits Boston St. Patrick's parade over gay marchers A Roman Catholic grammar school located near Boston has pulled out of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade in protest over organizers' decision to allow a gay veterans' group to march in next month's event.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary School, which traditionally sends its marching band to the South Boston route, said on Friday it would withdraw following a decision by the Allied War Veteran's Council, the parade's organizers, to admit a group of gay and lesbian veterans called OutVets to participate.
"We can't associate with that,” Brother Thomas Dalton, principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School, said in a phone interview. "It would appear we were condoning it."
Boston parade organizers said they would admit the OutVets group because its members were veterans. New York's parade this year opted to allow a group of gay and lesbian employees of NBC Universal, the unit of Comcast Corp that broadcasts the event, to participate.

De Blasio set to boycott NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade, say insiders 

It appears New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will again boycott this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue because of the lack of an Irish gay group in the line of march, multiple sources have told the Irish Voice. A non-Irish gay group from NBC, OUT@NBCUniversal, will march.

On Tuesday, City Council Member Daniel Dromm of Queens confirmed to the Irish Voice that a majority of council members, including Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, will not take part in the parade. The council formally boycotted and withdrew its banner from last year’s march in protest, and plans on doing the same for 2015, Dromm confirmed.
“I won’t march until an Irish gay group can march,” Dromm told the Irish Voice.
The decision by the parade committee to allow a gay group to march next month for the first time – OUT@NBCUniversal – came about for corporate reasons only, Dromm said.
“It’s not acceptable to us,” Dromm added. “We’ve been struggling for 25 years to have an Irish gay group in the march and they still won’t allow us to march.”

St. Pat's For All Parade, founded in protest, now a pageant in its own right "It's like a Mardi Gras," said Brendan Fay, an Astoria activist and filmmaker originally from Ireland who helped start the "all volunteer, totally low-budget parade" 16 years ago.

Fay, who founded The Lavender and Green Alliance in New York in 1994 and married his husband, Dr. Tom Moulton in Toronto in 2003, wanted an event celebrating Irishness that included Irish gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) people who had been consistently been refused the right to march under their own banners in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Ave.
While the event was created to assure GLBT people -- and especially GLBT young people -- they were cherished and loved in the Irish community, the Irish welcome was extended into an embrace of, well, everyone.
More than 2,000 participants and up to 10,000 spectators are expected at the wearin' o' the green -- and the rainbow -- this Sunday.
Gay and lesbian groups march in all the major St. Patrick's Day parades in Ireland "and some of them even win prizes," for their floats, explained the 45-year-old. A national referendum for marriage equality in Ireland -- with broad public support -- will be voted on in May, he added. And Queens, the most diverse place on the planet, reflects Ireland's increasing diversity as well.