10/24/2014

Nigerian Court Dismisses Challenge to Powerful Anti-Gay Law

Nigeria

On Wednesday, Nigeria's federal court dismissed a challenge to the nation's powerful anti-gay law, the Anti-Same Sex Marriage act, signed into law January 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

As David Mixner wrote earlier this year, "Not only does the law ban marriage equality but also any LGBT relationship. If discovered, gay couples will be sentenced to fourteen years in jail. That is bad enough. However, it also provides for ten years in jail for forming any LGBT organization or supporting the formation of one. The law criminalizes even meetings between homosexuals."

AlimiThe court tossed the case out because they said the person who brought the case could not prove he was effected by it — the man in question does not live in Nigeria and is married to a woman with wife and children. His name is Teriah Joseph Ebah, 42, and he's lived the last 14 years in the UK. Said Ebah to Buzzfeed News: “I decided I wasn’t going to accept a Nigeria that was discriminatory.” His official complaint cites a violation of human rights protections of Nigerian Law.

On the bright side, Buzzfeed reports, this may not be such a setback for Nigerian LGBT activists as you might expect. They say Ebah brought the case independent of them without consulting them. Buzzfeed quotes Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi (pictured), who says the dismissal “opens a better door for us to challenge the law."

[photo via Facebook]

Posted Oct. 24,2014 at 8:41 AM EST by in Bisi Alimi, Discrimination, Gay Rights, News, Nigeria | Permalink | Comments (2)


LGBT Hate Crimes Bill Advances in Philly As Statewide Bill Stalls in Harrisburg

Mixed news out of Pennsylvania this week as the city of Philadelphia moved forward with a bill adding LGBT protections to hate crimes laws while a similar, statewide bill stalled in committee at the capitol in Harrisburg. 

Philadelphia Gay News reports:

BrownThe Public Safety Committee of Philadelphia City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed Bill 140720, which adds a new chapter to the Philadelphia Code to provide for additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hatred regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and disabilities.

The bill, sponsored by Councilmembers Blondell Reynolds-Brown and Jim Kenney, was scheduled to receive a first reading before the full Council on Thursday. Then, the public will be given a week to submit comments before a second reading will occur and a final vote can be taken.

Given that the bill passed from the committee with a favorable recommendation, Reynolds-Brown said she was optimistic her colleagues will approve the legislation.

“I feel positive it will pass in every way — absolutely,” she said. “The state has run into a brick wall. Given the testimony we have heard today, and the very insightful questions that were raised, I am confident that it will move to the mayor’s desk and become law.”

In Harrisburg, meanwhile, legislators failed to bring Rep. Brendan Boyle's bill up for a last minute House vote this week. PGN reports only once scheduled session day remains (November 12) and it not been announced yet if lawmakers will even meet that day. 

A December court date has been set for the three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Center City, Philly that catalyzed these efforts to amend the state and local hate crimes laws. 

Posted Oct. 24,2014 at 8:22 AM EST by in Hate Crime, News, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | Permalink | Comments (1)


Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO

Santorum

Former senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said the only reason young people support gay rights is because they have never heard any arguments to the contrary, reports Right Wing Watch.

Speaking yesterday during an interview with Tony Perkins, president of listed hate group Family Research Council, Santorum said that the anti-gay lobby is losing in the battle for LGBT rights because “[LGBT activists] have effectively silenced the church on a lot of those issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.”

PerkinsOn the issue of pastors in Houston suing the city for rejecting their petitions to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance, Santorum said:

“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is.

“One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet.

“They’re going to use, as they have, the Johnson amendment, try to use the IRS and the tax code to do so, they’re going to use every lever of power the government has to keep this competition of ideas silent so they can win the argument.”

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last year, Santorum claimed that same-sex marriage would "discourage" straight couples from marrying.

Continue reading "Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO"

Posted Oct. 24,2014 at 8:00 AM EST by in Family Research Council, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Republican Party, Rick Santorum, Tony Perkins | Permalink | Comments (23)


Federal Judge Cancels Today's Hearing on Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Kansas who was set to hear a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage today has canceled the hearing, the Associated Press reports:

KansasACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties' written arguments.

Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday that the ACLU did not have time to review the state's written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.

This is separate from the case scheduled to be heard before the Kansas Supreme Court on November 6.

Kansas remains the only state in the Tenth Circuit without marriage equality. 

Update: Plaintiffs in the case have been given until Monday (October 27) to file additional briefs on the preliminary injunction. 

Posted Oct. 24,2014 at 7:41 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, Kansas | Permalink | Comments (3)


10/23/2014

Bette Midler Covers TLC's 'Waterfalls' - AUDIO

Midler

From her upcoming 14th studio album It's the Girls! featuring covers of popular gal group hits.

Give it a listen (you know you want to), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bette Midler Covers TLC's 'Waterfalls' - AUDIO"

Posted Oct. 23,2014 at 7:42 PM EST by in Bette Midler | Permalink | Comments (19)


Indian Talk Show Hosts LGBT Guests, Inspires Millions to Take Action Against Anti-gay Laws: VIDEO

Gazal Dhaliwal

It's not often that a video can incite a major shift in collective cultural opinion, but India's "Satyamev Jayate" nighttime talk show managed to achieve just that. Indian actor and GLAAD Global Voices advocate Aamir Khan hosted the show and had guests covering a variety of the LGBT spectrum, including Deepak Kashyap who once considered suicide, and transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal and her parents.

Supporting the guests were psychoanalysts who stressed the importance of parental support during the coming out process, a doctor who confirmed that homosexuality is not a disease and therefore not "curable", and a lawyer who went into the details of how India's anti-gay laws came to be.

As a result of all of this, 1.7 MILLION people called into the show to protest India's anti-gay laws and the Twitter hashtag #FreedomForLGBT became the top post on Twitter globally.

You can watch the subtitled episode AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indian Talk Show Hosts LGBT Guests, Inspires Millions to Take Action Against Anti-gay Laws: VIDEO"

Posted Oct. 23,2014 at 7:02 PM EST by in India, Video | Permalink | Comments (23)


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