Vietnam taking the lead in gay rights in Southeast Asia by abolishing a ban on same-sex marriage has medical doctor Thuan Nguyen planning a wedding ceremony with his boyfriend of two years.
“I am ready to have a wedding,” he said. “Many, many young people in love are optimistic about the acceptance of gay weddings.”
The revised law, while not officially recognizing same-sex marriage, places the communist country at the forefront of countries in Asia becoming more accepting of gay people. The National Assembly’s move is expected to attract more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers and boost Vietnam’s $9 billion tourism industry.
There’s a vast and growing list of prominent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender media and entertainment figures — just don’t count movie stars among them.
Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Caitlyn Jenner and Neil Patrick Harris have kicked open the closet door with little to no damage to their careers. In some cases, they’ve found themselves more in demand after revealing their sexual preferences or gender identification.
Yet there’s one glass ceiling that remains stubbornly resistant to cracks.
Five years ago, I was squeezing through Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office window on the fourth floor of the Louisiana Capitol building.
The Louisiana Senate chamber’s roof provides the closest thing to box seating for downtown Baton Rouge events, and as such, the governor, his family, various staff members and I had taken the opportunity to sneak out and watch the fireworks display over the Mississippi River.
It was a rare, intimate moment with Jindal — by then infamous for his inaccessibility — and as I watched the sky light up, I wondered if he knew my secret.
To the best of my knowledge, I am the only openly gay person who has ever worked for either Jindal or the Republican Party of Louisiana. When they first hired me seven years ago, no one knew.
More than two million teens have signed up with DoSomething.org to receive text messages suggesting ways to do social good. Once or twice a month, they get a note from someone named “Alysha” with tips like a new way to recycle clothes or how to convince friends not to text and drive.
On Thursday, they got a different kind of text from Alysha. Alysha, the text said, was now going by the name Freddie and was coming out as transgender. Instantly. To two million people. Via a text message.
Tony Abbott has played down the significance of gay marriage as an issue and reaffirmed he has no intention of allowing it to be debated in either the Parliament or the party room.
Mr Abbott addressed reporters as civil war threatened to erupt in the Liberal Party caused by arch-conservative MPs accusing pro-gay marriage colleagues of colluding with the Greens and Labor to derail the government's agenda and demanding ministers who support change resign from the frontbench.
With transgender celebrities gracing magazine covers and the Supreme Court set to rule on gay marriage across the U.S., the LGBT movement has come a long way. But we’re still far behind when it comes to addressing the health and wellness of LGBT people.
To address that, medical researchers are launching a new “PRIDE Study” to shed some light on the unique health needs of LGBT folks—and they’re using iPhones to conduct it. A new ResearchKit app developed by the University of California at San Francisco will survey a wide range of LGBT folks about health issues like HIV/AIDS, smoking, cancer, obesity, mental issues and depression.
Just days after the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to allow clergy to wed same-sex couples.
The decision once again puts the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion at the forefront of mainstream Christian acceptance of gays and lesbians.
May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell walked into a courthouse in Minneapolis, paid $10, and applied for a marriage license. The county clerk, Gerald Nelson, refused to give it to them. Obviously, he told them, marriage was for people of the opposite sex; it was silly to think otherwise.
Baker, a law student, didn’t agree. He and McConnell, a librarian, had met at a Halloween party in Oklahoma in 1966, shortly after Baker was pushed out of the Air Force for his sexuality. From the beginning, the men were committed to one another. In 1967, Baker proposed that they move in together. McConnell replied that he wanted to get married—really, legally married. The idea struck even Baker as odd at first, but he promised to find a way and decided to go to law school to figure it out.
When the clerk rejected Baker and McConnell’s application, they sued in state court. Nothing in the Minnesota marriage statute, Baker noted, mentioned gender. And even if it did, he argued, limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples would constitute unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sex, violating both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. He likened the situation to that of interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court had found unconstitutional in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia.
The trial court dismissed Baker’s claim. The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld that dismissal, in an opinion that cited the dictionary definition of marriage and contended, “The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman...is as old as the book of Genesis.” Finally, in 1972, Baker appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It refused to hear the case, rejecting it with a single sentence: “The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.” The idea that people of the same sex might have a constitutional right to get married, the dismissal suggested, was too absurd even to consider.
Last week, the high court reversed itself and declared that gays could marry nationwide. “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his sweeping decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
IV infection rates have steadily declined across much of the world, but Russia is one of the few countries where they’re rising. Experts lay much of the blame on the Russian government, pointing to its longstanding ban on methadone (a proven treatment for heroin addiction) and firm resistance to sex education. With President Vladimir Putin continuing to push a nationalistic, socially conservative agenda, the crisis seems poised to get even worse.
Like a 15-year-old Tom Ballard catching himself admiring his friends' bodies at the school swimming carnival, Senator Eric Abetz is confused.
The world is a confusing place: Ireland has voted in favour of marriage equality by popular vote, the US Supreme Court held that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and now radical hippies like Warren Entsch plan to co-sponsor a bill calling for change to the Marriage Act.
Amid all this insanity, Senator Abetz wrote an opinion piece for Fairfax and was interviewed on ABC radio and Sky News about how the media has an agenda to silence critical voices on this issue.
If the original Magic Mike was candy with a message inside the wrapper, Magic Mike XXL is almost pure whipped cream. But in the film’s attempt to welcome gay audiences more directly, it managed to add more depth than you might expect from similar summer romps. For that, it’s well worth your singles—however many of them a movie ticket costs these days.
The next big fitness tracking device is almost here, and this time, it doesn’t go around your wrist. The Lovely is a fitness tracker for your penis. Yep, your penis. Instead of collecting data on your daily steps, sleep pattern, and food intake, the Lovely collects data on how you have sex—what positions you did, how long you had sex for, and how many calories you burned. It even offers some suggestions to spice up your sex life.
The Supreme Court's historical 5-4 ruling last week that made same-sex marriage the law of the land was celebrated as a giant victory for the LGBT community, which for years has pushed for the equal right to be married to someone who you love.
Now that the initial wave of celebration has died down, it’s clear that the decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states does not mark the end of the debate. For religious groups, the new law remains particularly controversial.
Sometimes the Internet can be a good place filled with good people.
On Friday, Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton posted a heartbreaking image of a young boy with the caption, "I'm homosexual, and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."
Seven-year-old schoolgirl Maddi loves dancing, the colour pink and wearing dresses. But only a year ago Maddi was known to her friends and family as ‘Maddock’. She was born a boy.
She says she was “about three or four” years old when she first wanted to be a girl and wear dresses. Now aged seven, Maddi goes by her new name and has recently enrolled at school as a girl.
“I'm not getting called Maddock, I'm getting called Maddi. I'm not getting called a boy, I'm getting called a girl.”
Maddi tells Insight that she wanted to share her story on national television because “it doesn’t matter” if you were born a boy or a girl.
“I’m telling everyone it's alright to be born as a boy and want to be a girl, or be born as a girl and want to be a boy… It doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl – it just matters about who you are.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex marriage is a question of basic equality before the law is not only the end of the long political battle in the U.S., but is also a tipping point in the global conversation over whether LGBT rights are human rights.
This is not because the United States has raised the bar of what LGBT equality means — it is well behind more than 20 countries in Europe and Latin America in crossing the marriage equality finish line. Nor is it because now that the U.S. has accepted marriage equality, the rest of the world will follow — the wave of anti-LGBT legislation adopted in countries like Uganda and Nigeria in 2014 were in part a reaction to marriage wins in the West, and some countries may intensify their anti-LGBT rhetoric in response to this decision.
But once its full implications are understood, the decision will push the global debate over what it means for countries to fully protect the human rights of gays and lesbians into a new phase. Before the Obergefell decision, even many campaigners trying to get international human rights institutions to treat LGBT rights kept marriage at an arm’s length out of fear that asserting it as a fundamental right would intensify opposition to any LGBT rights protections in many parts of the world. After Obergefell’s statement that this is a clear question of equality for gays and lesbians, it seems impossible to exclude partnership rights from the list of fundamental rights that same-sex couples are entitled to regardless of what country they live in.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a monumental victory for gay rights, requiring that all states license marriages between people of the same sex. That decision was in many ways the culmination of a striking shift on the court, one that paralleled the huge turn in public opinion on the issue. As recently as 1986, for example, the court found no constitutional protection against laws banning consensual homosexual sex.
Here is a brief history of gay-rights decisions at the court. The chart below shows the cases, the ideology of the justices on the court at the time (as measured by the Martin-Quinn score), and how each justice voted.
Same-sex marriage is supported by most Americans. And after last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision, it’s also the law of the land. But how it will play out in the presidential campaign is far from settled. While the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates were quick to embrace the Supreme Court’s decision, the Republican candidates — beyond saying that marriage should remain between a man and a woman — were split.
The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin has at times lit its distinctive ring-shaped facade to celebrate the Fourth of July or raise awareness for breast cancer. Putting a rainbow glow on the building on the night of the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage was far more difficult. The news came as a surprise, and three staffers scrambled throughout the day to replace gels and redirect the light fixtures.
“This was something that needed to be recognized and celebrated,” says Jamie Grant, president of the nonprofit arts center. “We had no idea if we would be the only building in the country. When I saw on the news that the White House had done it, I said: They copied us!”
On Tuesday, Louisiana civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent “Marriage and Conscience” executive order, which allowed businesses and government employees to refuse service to gay couples. The order, these groups claim, exceeds Jindal’s power under the Louisiana constitution. Jindal’s executive order named a certain class of people—marriage equality opponents—and granted them a special right to discriminate against gay couples. But the Louisiana constitution doesn’t authorize the governor to impose a substantive right by executive order. Jindal’s “Marriage and Conscience” order should thus be rendered invalid.
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