In a startling and unexpected move, on Monday the Supreme Court refused to review seven gay marriage cases from five different states. That decision effectively legalized gay marriage in those five states—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin—almost immediately. But within the next few weeks, the court’s move will likely bring gay marriage to six more states—meaning that, without actually ruling on the topic, the justices will have brought marriage equality to 11 states in one fell swoop.
Here’s how that works. Technically speaking, the court’s decision merely let the rulings of the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuit courts stand. Each of those courts had found that gay marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution. But each court also stayed its ruling, assuming, quite reasonably, that the Supreme Court would ultimately step in and decide the issue.
But the Supreme Court has now officially refused to step in—and that makes gay marriage the “law of the circuit” in the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuits. Every state within each circuit, in other words, is now bound by a ruling that all gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.
Two weeks ago, Facebook was forced to address a firestorm over its real-name policy after "several hundred" drag queens and performers were targeted in a spree of user reports. On that day, Facebook responded by sending a message to those account holders: either switch their public Facebook names to "legal" names or convert their accounts to public "pages," which lack certain normal-profile features. The affected users had two weeks to do so, which ran out today.
However, instead of disabling those hundreds of accounts, Facebook went in a decidedly different direction. A meeting between affected performers, including original complainant Sister Roma, and company officials took place at the Facebook campus today, and according to a Valleywag report, it ended with Facebook issuing an official apology and promising "substantive changes" to the real-name policy.
Forget flowers. Forget candlelight. The “dick pic” is the new method of luring potential lovers into the bedroom. But as anyone who’s ever received a bad dick pic will tell you, there is an art to photographing one’s dong.
Host Nancy Redd over at HuffPost Live tackled this growing trend in hooking up when she spoke with several experts on the subject of dick pics.
Six men were sentenced by an Egyptian court on Thursday to two years in prison with labor for allegedly advertising their apartment on Facebook for men to have sex with each other for a fee of $200 per night, reports the state-owned Egyptian news site Ahram Online based on information from “a judicial source.”
This case may be the first case in which Egyptians have been caught on social media for charges of homosexuality, something human rights activists have warned could become widespread as the Egyptian government widens its crackdown on LGBT rights. Since October, around 80 people are known to have been arrested on allegations of homosexuality, including eight men who are due in court on Saturday for appearing in a video that shows a couple of men exchanging rings that made headlines throughout the Arabic press as a “gay wedding.”
In this newly open environment, LGBT scientists are finding it easier to declare themselves — or at least, to think about doing so. “I’m getting a constant stream of e-mails from young scientists: ‘Can I meet with you?’,” says Ben Barres, a Stanford neuroscientist who transitioned from female to male in 1997, and who has become a prominent spokesman for LGBT issues in science.
But just as for ethnic minorities and women, there is still a long way to go. Many LGBT scientists fear coming out — if only because publications, career progression and promotion are based heavily on the judgement of fellow scientists, which might be influenced by conscious or unconscious bias. And many students may be avoiding a research career entirely — although no one knows, because no one has counted.
“I worry that there is a vast pool of talent that might be being lost to science,” says Trotter. The only way to change that, he says, is for the scientific community to reach out to its LGBT members, and have an honest conversation.
Tuesday was something called Bisexual Visibility Day. Which got me thinking: Where exactly are all the bi guys? I know a fair few fellas who've confided in me about their same-sex experiences, but only a handful of guys who straight-up identify as bi.
That might be because, for years, bisexuality has been maligned as homosexuality’s no-good cousin—a sort of halfway house between straight respectability and full-blown gay-dom. Bisexuals spread diseases. Bisexuals can’t accept that they're really gay. Bisexuals are greedy, confused, selfish. This is the sort of shit people say about bisexuals. No wonder bi dudes like to keep it on the lowdown.
Gay asylum seekers detained by Australia on Manus Island have written of suicidal thoughts, experiences of sexual assault and fear of persecution in Papua New Guinea in a series of handwritten letters seen by Guardian Australia.
The six letters, written by four different men, paint a vivid portrait of life in the detention centre for gay asylum seekers – due to be resettled in PNG where homosexuality is illegal and can carry a jail term of over a decade.
Many of the men write of their decision to flee societies where they were persecuted for their sexuality and detail instances of abuse and bullying inside the Manus centre and in their lives before arriving in Australia.
The letters – all written by Iranian men and mostly in Farsi – were translated independently by Guardian Australia.
PROGRESS in implementing a policy addressing issues for Queensland LGBTI students has stalled between a PFLAG-led action group and the state education department, according to the group’s secretary.
Tackling LGBTI bullying along with a focus on inclusive departmental guidelines has been the subject of discussions between the two parties since last year, but the secretary of the Safe Queensland Schools for LGBTIQ Students action group Janet Berry has been “extremely frustrated” with the government’s response.
A Wickham spokesperson said: “We just didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable if approached with the survey questions.”
Why would a hotel that formed the nexus of Brisbane’s famous ‘Gay Days’ suddenly dump the survey after years of support? Its desire to attract a ‘mixed’ crowd has been well publicised, but it also claims to be retaining its LGBT identity. Such controversy so early on begs the question: Does the ‘new’ Wickham have any idea what that means?
What makes this PR blunder so interesting is the questions it raises about the changing nature and relevance of gay venues in Australia. With most of our bars and clubs facing tough times, what changes might it take to save them? Do they deserve to be saved at all?
HIV organisations in Queensland and sexual health experts have expressed disappointment and concern about the Wickham Hotel not allowing the COUNT study and Gay Community Periodic Survey (GCPS) from being conducted at the venue.
Queensland Positive People (QPP) and Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) were reportedly informed by management last week that “[the surveys] doesn’t fit with the new Wickham” and volunteers were denied access to the hotel.
One of Brisbane’s most iconic LGBTI-friendly venues, the Wickham only recently reopened following extensive renovations and its owner Coles expressed a desire to attract a mixed clientele.
On Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl struck down Wyoming’s gay marriage ban, making it the third pro-marriage equality decision of the day. Skavdahl, an Obama appointee, essentially had no choice but to invalidate Wyoming’s ban; the state falls within the 10th Circuit, where marriage equality is now officially law. A decision upholding the ban would have been legally unjustifiable and judicially impudent.
While Skavdahl ruled the right way, he made it quite clear that his heart wasn’t in it. First, Skavdahl stayed the decision until Oct. 23—a completely pointless exercise since marriage equality is already law of the circuit. Second, he closed the principal portion of his opinion with an awkward, cranky kiss-off to his judicial superiors ...
Bill Clinton’s presidency was just five days old when he sat down at the White House with top military leaders for a frank and spirited exchange about his pledge to end the ban on gays serving in the armed forces.
A richly detailed, fly-on-the-wall account of that pivotal meeting became public Friday as the National Archives released a large batch of records previously kept secret because they contained confidential advice to the president.
The near-transcript is a reminder of how dramatically public opinion on homosexuality has changed in the course of two decades and how views that were commonplace in 1993 are now widely seen as narrow-minded or even bigoted.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court declined to review seven gay marriage decisions out of five different states. In each case, an appeals court had ruled that state-level gay marriage bans are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's refusal to hear every case means that gay marriages can begin immediately in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The move is unexpected and somewhat bizarre. Most court-watchers, including me, assumed the justices would wait to make a move on gay marriage until a circuit court ruled that state-level marriage bans were constitutional, swimming against the tide. At that point, the Supreme Court would be presented with a circuit split, essentially forcing it to wade in. And since the 6th Circuit seems poised to rule in favor of anti-gay-marriage laws, the justices probably would not have had to wait long.
What would you do if you arranged a Grindr hook-up, only to turn up at the guy's address and realise that he was broadcasting your PMs in a public square as part of an art performance? Because that's exactly what happened to Parker Tilghman, a Berlin photographer who was approached by "Dries" on the dating app.
Berliners should be careful what they reveal on gay hook-up app Grindr in the next few days – their messages are being projected onto the wall of a glass installation for the entertainment of passers by.
For the next two weeks, Dutch gay artist Dries Verhoeven is sitting in a glass-walled container in the centre of a busy square, recruiting a steady stream of men to join him in his box for various non-sexual activities. The project is called Wanna Play?
If you were gay and a recent passenger on American Airlines, you might have used in-flight Wi-Fi provided by Gogo just like any other customer. In the course of finding somewhere to stay before you land, you might have navigated to misterbnb.com, a version of Airbnb where customers looking for a place to stay can be guaranteed the hosts are gay-friendly. Rather than getting the site's homepage, however, your browser would have kicked you to an interstitial page telling you the site had been censored by Gogo. The given reason would have been the site had been categorized as "adult-and-pornography."
Looking at Misterbnb, there is nothing to trigger a pornography-centric filter on the homepage. The word "gay" appears a handful of times, but there is no salacious language, no risque photos, no video, not even any wild-card advertising space that could turn up a rogue Flash ad, photo, or video that runs counter to the tone of the site. "Travel gay friendly," "build the gay travel community," or "attend the next gay events" is about as hot as the site's narrative gets. In total, the word "gay" appears 11 times in text on the site's homepage.
Gogo and American Airlines are not the first Wi-Fi providers to be touchy about LGBT content; over the last year, a handful of businesses, including Au Bon Pain, Tim Horton's, and McDonald's, made minor news for not allowing their customers to view innocuous LGBT-centric websites, like GLAAD's homepage.
Occasionally these incidents happen for regressive "family-friendly" reasons, where businesses cave to people who would be agitated by a reminder that gay people exist. But many businesses, including American Airlines, appear unsure why the Wi-Fi service they provide their customers prevents those customers from accessing otherwise innocuous LGBT-oriented sites.
If you're like us, you've been jonesing for new TV shows or waiting for your old favorites to return from summer hiatus. From new shows breaking ground by being the first to feature LGBTIQ characters in their genre on the small screen to longtime favorites and everything between, TheAdvocate staff picks our most anticipated inclusive shows that make up fall 2014’s must-see LGBTIQ TV.
I love Facebook because it allows me to create an intentional image of myself that I present to the world. Identity is not invalid if it is not legal. Forcing people to use their legal names against their will is not only dangerous, it’s disrespectful. By doing this, you are denying them the right to be themselves, and, ultimately, destroying the safe and open online community your company says it wants to create.
With a deafening roar of engines, and a blinding kaleidoscope of colour, they were off.
The Dykes on Bikes led Brisbane's biggest LGBTI pride parade up Brunswick Street on Saturday morning, leading hundreds on their 1.7-kilometre march from Fortitude Valley to the Brisbane Pride Festival at New Farm Park.
But before the march – which attracted up to 700 people at its starting point – there were the rallying cries from the balcony of the Valley's Empire Hotel.
WITH half an hour still to go before the forum would officially begin, out in the audience the conversation about Pre Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV — PrEP — was already in full swing.
Although only a handful of gay men in Australia had begun taking PrEP in the very early stages of clinical studies, at this public forum on the topic held during the recent International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, or AIDS 2014, the implications were keenly felt.
One guy was concerned he’d seen other guys “advertising” being on PrEP while looking for bareback sex on Grindr. A few people discussed rumours of awful side-effects experienced by the studies’ participants.
Despite these omens the forum proved remarkably measured, more academic than community. Whichever audience members had worried PrEP was a sign of the end times stayed silent, ceding the floor to public health experts calling for a rational, measured conversation.
For a community that for over 30 years has learned to conflate sex and death, for whom a thin sheet of latex has become a potent symbol for that divide, many believe PrEP has the capacity to change everything.
The concept is simple: a person takes a daily dose of the same antiretroviral medication used by many people living with HIV to drastically reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
In the most recent large clinical study, even participants only taking the medication two to three times a week were at 84 per cent reduced risk of contracting HIV, while there were no infections in participants taking four or more doses per week.
Even as the evidence continues to mount that PrEP can be a highly effective tool for preventing HIV transmission, many have reservations.
The drug Truvada has been approved and available for use as PrEP in the US for two years now, and its impact on the gay community has been profound.