Gay Primary Source

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Marriage Equality in Ireland Goes into Effect

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, today signed the commencement order for the Marriage Act 2015. The Commencement Order will bring the provisions of the Marriage Act 2015 into effect from Monday 16 November 2015.

The commencement order gives effect to the will of the people, as expressed in the referendum on 22 May, that marriage should be available to same-sex couples.

At Dublin Castle this evening the Minister said,The Irish people blazed a trail on 22 May 2015 when they became the first sovereign people to choose marriage equality by popular vote. They determined that Ireland should be characterised by solidarity and inclusiveness. They have reaffirmed the importance of marriage and family for our society."

From Monday 16 November, same-sex couples, including couples who are already in civil partnerships, will be able to give notice of their intention to marry.

Signing the Order, the Minister added, “It is a real pleasure to sign this Order in the company of some of the couples who will be able to marry in the coming weeks and months. The Marriage Act has profound symbolic importance, but will also have a real and tangible impact on their family life.”

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, 10 November 2015.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Houston Mayor Comments on Equal Rights Ordnance Saga

“As I stated in my State of the City Address earlier this month, the Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic and business life. We don’t care where you come from, the color of your skin, your age, gender, what physical limitations you may have or who you choose to love. It’s time the laws on our books reflect this.” April 21, 2014.

 "I am very pleased with the jury’s verdict, and I expect the court will apply the law to the verdict and issue a final judgment confirming that the petition failed. The City of Houston has had in place for over 100 years the same rules and legal requirements governing the referendum process to ensure fairness and avoid fraud, and the jury’s verdict confirms that the petitions did not meet the legal requirements. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal any outcome that is not in their favor. That would be unfortunate for the City. I believe that the majority of Houston wants this divisive fight to be over so that we are able to provide equal rights protections for all of our residents. The City is confident it will prevail." February 13, 2015.

“This is a great victory in the courts, and a great day for civil rights in Houston, Texas. The jury found for the City, and now the judge has found in favor of the City too.  I am gratified that the judge signed a final judgment rejecting the plaintiffs’ claims and confirming that their pro-discrimination referendum petition failed.  We will be prepared if the plaintiffs decide to appeal.” Donna Edmundson, City Attorney, April 17, 2015.

"Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens. Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions. Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations. No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. To do otherwise, hurts Houston’s well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity. Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters. We will win!" July 24, 2015.

 "The ballot language we chose came directly from the petition the pastors submitted to the City. It asks voters whether they want to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. If you want to repeal HERO you should vote yes. It is a very easy question to understand. It complies with the City Charter and a 1997 Texas Supreme Court ruling granting the City authority to select the ballot language for a referendum. This lawsuit isn't about whether the ballot language is easy to understand or complies with the law. The pastors group is opposed to a Houston free of discrimination for all and will do anything they can to try to confuse the voters." August 7, 2015.

 "Despite the continued backdoor legal maneuvers and manipulation by a small group that is out of touch, I am confident that Houstonians will vote to keep the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in November.  We are a city that believes everyone deserves to be treated equally no matter his or her race, age, gender, physical limitations, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Discrimination simply isn’t a Houston value. With all due respect to the Texas Supreme Court, it is clear that politics is driving the law in this case.  We will rewrite the ballot language, but I strongly disagree with the decision and find it to be contrary to the court’s established law regarding previous ballot initiatives. August 19, 2015.

Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker (except where noted).


New York Fire Department Releases It Gets Better Video

" As Firefighters, Paramedics and EMTs in the most diverse city in the world, FDNY members have the tremendous opportunity to inspire young people through their brave work every single day. Through this video, they deliver an important message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world - it absolutely does get better. "

City of New York Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, October 11, 2015; on the occasion of the release of "its first ever It Gets Better video, in support of the It Gets Better Project. The Project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world that life gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to improve quality of life for them. In the FDNY-produced video, twelve active FDNY Firefighters, Paramedics, and EMTs discuss the challenges they faced throughout their lives and the success they have found both as adults, and as members of New York's Bravest."

     Click here to watch the video on a non-primary source


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

US Govt. Report Supports End to Conversion Therapy

" The conclusions in this report are based on professional consensus statements arrived at by experts in the field. Specifically, conversion therapy - efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression - is a practice that is not supported by credible evidence and has been disavowed by behavioral health experts and associations. Conversion therapy perpetuates outdated views of gender roles and identities as well as the negative stereotype that being a sexual or gender minority or identifying as LGBTQ is an abnormal aspect of human development. Most importantly, it may put young people at risk of serious harm."

Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth, a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, October 15, 2015.

     Click here to read the entire report

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rainbow Doritos

" PLANO, Texas -The Doritos brand, in partnership with the It Gets Better Project, today announced a new, limited-edition product to celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the boldest, most colorful way possible. Introducing Doritos Rainbows chips, the first Doritos product in history made up of multiple, rainbow-colored Doritos chips inspired by the Pride flag. The new product is available exclusively to consumers who donate to the It Gets Better Project, an organization that seeks to provide hope to LGBT young people and inspire the changes to make the world a better place for them.

Starting today, consumers who donate $10 or more in support of the It Gets Better Project through will be mailed a bag of Doritos Rainbows chips, while supplies last. The goal is to raise funds for the It Gets Better Project and the important work the organization does in support of LGBT youth around the world. Upon making their donations, consumers are encouraged to share messages of hope and inspiration using #BoldandBetter. For more details, visit

“Time and again, our consumers have shown us, there really is nothing bolder than being true to yourself and living life to the fullest,” said Ram Krishnan, chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay. “With Doritos Rainbows chips, we’re bringing an entirely new product experience to our consumers to show our commitment toward equal rights for the LGBT community and celebrate humanity without exception.”

The It Gets Better Project began in September 2010, when activist Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better. Five years later, the It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 60,000 user-created videos viewed more than 60 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities.

“We’re honored to partner with the Doritos brand to celebrate the momentous progress that has been made toward equal rights for the LGBT community in this country. By utilizing the incredible reach that Doritos has throughout the world, we can give hope to the LGBT young people who need it the most. There is so much more work to be done, and together, we will inspire the LGBT community and its allies to continue the fight and embrace who they are by living a #BoldandBetter life,” said Brett Peters, communications director, It Gets Better Project.

Doritos Rainbows chips will take center stage at this year’s Dallas Pride as part of the Doritos brand’s first-ever sponsorship of the annual event, set to take place on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. While visiting the Doritos-branded booth at Dallas Pride, attendees can pledge their support to the It Gets Better Project and receive a bag of Doritos Rainbows chips, while supplies last. Guests also can capture their experiences at a photo and video booth, sharing their unique content using #BoldAndBetter. In partnership with PepsiCo’s EQUAL employee resource group, the Doritos brand also will participate in this year’s Dallas Pride parade with a float made up of PepsiCo/Frito-Lay associates and their families.

Doritos is one of the flagship brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. PepsiCo has long been a supporter of diversity and inclusion, recognizing that each and every PepsiCo associate brings something unique to the table. For years, PepsiCo has earned the top score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool of corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees, as one of the “Best Places to Work.” "

Press release from Frit-Lay, September 17, 2015.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

London Gay Bar Gets Landmark Protection

“I am thrilled to be able to list the Royal Vauxhall Tavern as Grade II - the iconic cultural hub in the heart of London is of huge significance to the LGB&T community. Not only of architectural interest, the venue has a longstanding historic role as a symbol of tolerance and alternative entertainment.

Residing in Lambeth since 1860, the landmark venue has been the springboard for so many of our loved UK entertainers. I am delighted that the listing will preserve the history of this venue for future generations to enjoy - I hope that it continues to be filled with laughter and joy.”

Tracey Crouch, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, September 9, 2015.

     Click here to read the entire listing statement

"The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is an enduring and important venue for the LGBTQ community. Built on the site of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, it carries on the tradition of alternative and bohemian entertainment which is bound up in this part of London's history and identity."

Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing, Historic England, September 9, 2015.

     Click here to read the entire statement


The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) has been listed Grade II by Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch on the advice of Historic England. The first listing of its kind for a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGB&T) venue, the iconic London location has an international reputation as arguably one of the most inclusive LGB&T venues in England, built on a tradition of hosting alternative, transgender and drag performances.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Guam Passes Marriage Equality Law


Bill No. B119-33 passed August 12, 2015, by the Thirty-Third Guam Legislature.

     Click here to read the entire statute

Guam Passes Non-Discrimination Law


Bill No. B102-33 passed August 12, 2015, by the Thirty-Third Guam Legislature.

     Click here to read the entire statute

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UN Security Council's First LGBT Discussion

" Today we are making UN history. The UN Security Council has never before had a meeting on LGBT issues.

It is an honor to co-host this meeting with Chile, which continues to be a strong advocate for LGBT rights and more generally for empowering civil society around the world.

Let me welcome our briefers. Deputy-Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, has worked tirelessly to advance LGBT rights both within the UN, taking unprecedented steps on behalf of LGBT rights, and across the world. Jessica Stern is here representing the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, an NGO doing critically important work to protect LGBT persons, including in the places we will discuss today. And finally, we are beyond grateful to have a man we’ll call “Adnan” and Subhi Nahas speak to us today. You will have the opportunity to hear from them directly, but I’d like to just now say a few words about each.

“Adnan” is not Adnan’s real name – it is a pseudonym he is using to hide his identity. Adnan fled northern Iraq after being marked for death by ISIL because he is gay. Adnan is a client of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, an extraordinary organization that has helped facilitate his participation today. He still fears that he could be attacked by ISIL if identified, which is the reason he is speaking to the Council today by phone rather than by video link. Out of concern for Adnan’s safety, I would like to request that no audio or video recordings be made during this historic event.

Subhi Nahas – a gay man and LGBT advocate from Syria – was forced to flee his home after receiving death threats from Jabat al Nusra. Even after fleeing to neighboring Lebanon and then Turkey, he continued to receive threats, this time from ISIL. He now lives in the United States.

Adnan and Subhi’s experiences are distinct, as you will hear, but they share key parallels. Both faced discrimination, threats and attacks before violent extremist groups seized power in their communities. Both were marked for death for being gay, and knew LGBT individuals who were killed. And both had to flee their homes because of who they are.

Their cases are not outliers, but rather part of a pattern of systematic abuse. Yet until now, the targeting of LGBT persons like Adnan and Subhi by ISIL has received scant international attention. Today, we are taking a necessary step toward remedying that oversight.

ISIL does not try to hide its crimes against LGBT persons – it broadcasts them for all the world to see. Many of us have seen the videos. ISIL parading a man through the streets and beating him – for being gay. ISIL marching men to the tops of buildings and throwing them to their deaths – for being gay. In one of these videos, allegedly from Syria, we are told that the victim was found to be having a gay affair. He is blindfolded, walked up stairs of a building, and then heaved off its roof. His suffering did not end there. The victim miraculously survived the fall, only to be stoned to death by a mob that waited for him below. Kids in the crowd were reportedly encouraged to grab stones and take part.

The mob in this instance carries an important lesson: while the targeting of LGBT individuals in the region appears to have worsened as ISIL’s power has grown, such violence and hatred existed well before the group’s dramatic rise, and that violence and hatred extends far beyond ISIL’s membership. The victim in that grotesque video may have been thrown to his death by ISIL, but he was ultimately killed by stone-throwing individuals who did not belong to the group. Similarly, before Subhi Nahas was forced to flee his country because of death threats from Jabhat al Nusra, he was targeted for being gay by Syrian government soldiers. And before ISIL came to power, Adnan was repeatedly attacked by gangs of thugs for being gay, once being beaten so severely that he could hardly walk.

Today, we are coming together as a Security Council to condemn these acts, to demand they stop, and to commit to one day bringing the perpetrators to justice. That unified condemnation matters. This is the first time in history that the Council has held a meeting on the victimization of LGBT persons. It is the first time we are saying, in a single voice, that it is wrong to target people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a historic step. And it is, as we all know, long overdue.

But crucial and unprecedented as this step is, condemning ISIL’s violent and systematic targeting of LGBT individuals is the easiest step we can take today. Because while today’s session is focused on the crimes against LGBT persons committed by ISIL, we know the scope of this problem is much broader. Consider the report released in June by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – a report that found that thousands of people have been killed or brutally injured worldwide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the report, “the overall picture remains one of continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting LGBT and intersex persons in all regions…often perpetrated with impunity.”

We are all horrified by ISIL’s videos of men being thrown to their death. But what is it about these crimes that so shocks our collective conscience? At its essence – it is the denial of a person’s most basic right because of who they are. It is ISIL deciding that, because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, they do not deserve to live.

Yet if these crimes feel utterly unjust and wrong to us, we must also ask: Why is it acceptable to deny LGBT persons other human rights? Why should LGBT persons be imprisoned for who they are? Why should police be allowed to refuse to investigate attacks or threats against LGBT persons? Why should we accept LGBT persons being turned away from schools or jobs or social services because of who they love? The answer to all of these questions is the same: We should not accept it. But too often we do.

No religious beliefs justify throwing individuals off of buildings or stoning them to death because of who they love. No cultural values excuse refusing to investigate a killing, assault or death threat because the victim is gay. These are not Western-imposed rights, or the North trying to force its values on the South.
Yet in too many parts of the world, denying LGBT rights is still seen as moral and just. Laws are used to criminalize LGBT persons, rather than to prosecute the people who violate their rights. That must change.
That change begins by working to stop attacks against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. And by taking steps to ensure that those who commit these heinous and brutal crimes are held accountable, whether the perpetrators belong to ISIL or police forces or are members of our own communities.

But stopping violence is not enough. We must strive to defend the rights of LGBT persons wherever they are denied, including within the United Nations. To give just one example, as recently as five years ago the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission – the NGO led by Jessica Stern, one of our guest briefers – was denied UN accreditation in the UN NGO Committee because of the issues they work on. And you will hear today just how critical those issues are. As a result, Jessica and members of her NGO were not even allowed to attend meetings like this one, much less speak at one – they wouldn’t even be in the room. Today, because of a successful campaign led by some Member States with support from civil society, Jessica’s group has been accredited – and she is speaking up here on the stage where she belongs. Nonetheless, groups like Jessica’s are still being denied accreditation on similar grounds.

The effort to defend the equal rights of LGBT persons must also be waged within every one of our countries, even those where important progress has been made – and that includes in the United States. For just as this year we have made tremendous strides in advancing LGBT rights in the United States, we are under no illusion that the work is finished. Every one of our countries can and must do more to advance these rights domestically.

Let me conclude and hand the floor over to my esteemed co-host, Ambassador Barros-Melet. This year we mark seventy years since the creation of the United Nations. It is fair to say that in writing the charter, the drafters did not consider LGBT rights part of their conception of equal rights. But if we read the Charter today – and in particular its call to “reaffirm faith… in the dignity and worth of the human person” – it is impossible not to see a call for all of us to affirm LGBT rights. It is impossible not to see individuals like Adnan and Subhi as having the same inherent dignity and worth. And it is impossible not to take up the struggle for their rights as our own, as we have other great human rights struggles over the last seven decades. Today, we take a small but important step in assuming that work. It must not be our last step.

Thank you.

And with that, let me turn it over to Ambassador Barros-Melet of Chile, the United States’ co-chair for today’s event. "

Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, August 24, 2015. Remarks at a UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on ISIL's Targeting of LGBT Individuals.

     Click here to see the original

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Colorado Court - Let Them Eat Cake!

" This case juxtaposes the rights of complainants, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, under Colorado’s public accommodations law to obtain a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex marriage against and the rights of respondents, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc., and its owner, Jack C. Phillips, who contend that requiring them to provide such a wedding cake violates their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

This appeal arises from an administrative decision by appellee, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which upheld the decision of an administrative law judge, who ruled in favor of Craig and Mullins and against Masterpiece and Phillips on cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the Commission’s decision.

... if it wishes to operate as a public accommodation and conduct business within the State of Colorado, CADA [Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act] prohibits it from picking and choosing customers based on their sexual orientation ..."

Judge Taubman, Colorado Court of Appeals, August 13, 2015.

     Click here to read the entire opinion


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Aussie MP Speaks from the Heart on Same-Sex Marriage

Click here (YouTube) or click the pic (Facebook) to listen to Australian Member of Parliament Tim Watts (Labor) speaking about his own same-sex couple family experience, in opposition to PM Tony Abbott's opposition to same-sex marriage as well as his opposition to allowing a parliamentary vote on conscience on the issue for members of his party; August 11, 2015.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Australian Airport Shows Support for Same-Sex Marriage

" Canberra Airport will be lighting up its new terminal in rainbow colours tonight and for the next week to say ‘yes’ to marriage equality, along with signage supporting the #WeCanDoThis campaign.

“We are attempting to highlight the deep, positive and strong feelings of the vast majority of the community in support of equality,” Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron said.

“Equality of same sex relationships is an issue that is very important for Canberra Airport – not only because we believe that equality is an essential right for our whole community but also because it has a particular personal significance for our family.

“My brother, Tom Snow, and his husband were married last year in New Zealand with their children and our extended family as witnesses. It struck me at this time how ridiculous it is that my relationship, and my wife and children, are afforded the protection and support of our government, yet Tom and his family are forced to travel overseas to get married.

“We hope that the rainbow image across the gateway to Australia’s National Capital will have similar impact to lighting up the White House after the historic US Supreme Court ruling determining marriage equality in the US in June this year.”

Switching on the lights, Tom Snow said: “Our family has always believed that everyone should be treated equally and given a fair go. We are here tonight to declare our support publicly and amplify the voices of the majority of Australians in favour of marriage equality.

“We are here tonight to say now is the time for change. Now is the time to give gay and lesbian Australians a fair go and recognise them as equals, as they are recognised in 21 other countries. Now is the time to show leadership for equality.

“No-one should underestimate how much the legal right to marry matters to my husband, me, and our three children. It matters to hundreds of thousands of gay Australians because it says: Your relationship is equal. You are equal. It matters to gay and lesbian young people who for too many years have grown up with the stigma and discrimination that homosexuality is somehow wrong.

“It is because it matters so much that we are here tonight lighting up this magnificent building in rainbow colours, and saying to our elected representatives: this issue should be above politics. Have a conscience vote. Listen to your gay and lesbian constituents and the majority of Australians who support equality. Have the courage to do what is right. Together, we can do this." ”

(family owners of) Canberra Airport, August 9, 2015.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Boy Scouts Stop Discrimination

The Boy Scouts of America announced a new membership policy that bans discrimination against openly gay adult leaders (and against older - 18+ scouts), and in employment. BSA National President Robert M. Gates made the following statement on July 27, 2015.

It may not be the most gay-positive statement, but it is what it is.

     Click here to watch the video (bottom of webpage)

     or watch it on YouTube

Thursday, July 23, 2015

President Stresses Gay Rights for Africa

In an interview today with the BBC, President Barack Obama explains his desire for equal rights and treatment for gay people and women in Africa, prior to his trip to Kenya.

     Click here to watch the video excerpt

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

US Attorney General Annouces Full Marriage Equality Benefits Across US Govt.

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell that every couple has the same right to participate in the institution of marriage, whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes, I directed Justice Department staff to work with the agencies to ensure that the ruling be given full effect across the federal government. Thanks to their leadership and the quick work of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, today I am proud to announce that the critical programs for veterans and elderly and disabled Americans, which previously could not give effect to the marriages of couples living in states that did not recognize those marriages, will now provide federal recognition for all marriages nationwide. The agencies are currently working towards providing guidance to implement this change in law. Just over a year ago, Attorney General Holder announced that agencies across the federal government had implemented the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision by treating married same-sex couples the same as married opposite-sex couples to the greatest extent possible under the law as it then stood. With the Supreme Court’s new ruling that the Constitution requires marriage equality, we have now taken the further step of ensuring that all federal benefits will be available equally to married couples in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Territories. The department will continue to work across the administration to fulfill our commitment to equal treatment for all Americans, including equal access to the benefits of marriage that the Obergefell decision guarantees.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, July 9, 2015.

Click here to read the original


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Colorado Gov Lauds SupCt Ruling

" The Supreme Court of the United States has definitively ruled that in this country, government will not limit who we might love, or restrict the rights and commitments that are a result of that love. Each violent expression of hate we experience should strengthen our resolve that we need to encourage more love, not less. We join the rest of the country in celebrating the news that equal dignity and equal rights prevailed. "

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, June 26, 2015.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

UK PM David Cameron on London Pride

The LGBT+ rights movement has been a great force for reform not just in the UK but also around the world. It has campaigned for decency, respect and equal treatment; and underlying it all were simple demands: that people should be able to love and live equally with someone of the same sex, that people should be respected and valued for who they are, able to live safely and fulfil their potential.

This is why I’m so pleased to have introduced same sex marriage and to have seen it become the law of this land. It is also why I am delighted that yet again the UK has been judged the best place to live in Europe if you are LGBT+. But I am aware that the work must go on. At the general election, my party made specific pledges including introducing a new law to pardon men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of a crime they would be innocent of today, and toughening hate crime legislation so it covers crimes committed against people on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity. There is continuing work to tackle domestic abuse, homelessness, health inequalities, bullying in schools and to bring about positive reform around the world, not least in the Commonwealth.

Since 2013 we have seen the importance of Pride in London grow as it has become larger, more successful and the messages it communicates more widely received, not least through the #FreedomTo and #PrideHeroes advertising campaigns. Our country is made great not through the action of government alone, but through the flair, ingenuity and hard work of the British people. That is why everyone needs to be enabled to fulfil their potential and Pride has a role to play in this process.

I am very proud of the diversity and strength of the LGBT+ community in Great Britain and Pride is a wonderful celebration of that. I wish ‘Team Pride’ all the very best for this year and the future. I hope everyone attending Pride in London events, ranging from the Arts Festival through to the Parade itself, has a fantastic day. By participating and supporting the charities, businesses, campaigning organisations, political parties, sports groups and others involved, you are helping to change minds, win hearts, support other people and spread the message of why equality is important across the globe – and for that you should be proud."

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, June 27, 2015.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CA Lt. Gov. Lauds SupCt Ruling

" We have abundant reason to rejoice that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition.' The wisdom of these words, penned by President Washington and now more than two centuries old, remind us that American Democracy is an evolving journey, perfected with the passage of time.

Indeed our present day comprehension of marriage - based upon love and lifelong loyalty - is itself an evolution in the institution of marriage.

I celebrate today's decision but recognize that the fight for equality is not over. Far from it. As we look to the future, I urge those with whom I have walked this march to continue forward with vigilance and resolve.
"Many similar milestones - such as the Nineteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - continue to be challenged and undermined by courts and laws across the states by those unable to temper their hatred. Dissimulated discrimination, like RFRA laws and the Hobby Lobby decision, are evidence that enlightenment develops on a separate and slower track.

There remains a long list of rights that must be guaranteed before the LGBT community achieves equality under the law. There are no federal workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We are nowhere near providing adequate protections for the rights of transgender Americans.

This cause for celebration closes one chapter of civil right injustices enforced by state laws. To deny the value of any love, devalues all love. The nation has traveled full circle in the eleven years since San Francisco's Winter of Love, but the underlying prejudices have not disappeared. Some remain self-imprisoned by their own enmity, seeking to deny the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their neighbors while overlooking Samuel Adams' insight that "the truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought. "

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, June 26, 2015.


Monday, June 29, 2015

CBS Evening News Coverage of SupCt Decision

Click the pic to watch the video of the June 26, 2015 CBS Evening News with extensive coverage of the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling, plus anchor Scott Pelley's commentary on "A week for equality" at about 20:32.

Pres Obama Speaks on SupCt Ruling

Click the pic to watch the video of the President's statement lauding the Supreme Court decision that same-sex marriage is legal under the US Constitution.

UN SecGen Lauds US SupCt Ruling

"The Secretary-General welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court that paves the way for gay and lesbian Americans to have their relationships legally recognized, no matter what part of the country they live in. In an interview just now, he called it a great step forward for human rights. He is a strong believer in equality and in the equal worth and dignity of LGBTQ people. Denying couples legal recognition of their relationship opens the door to widespread discrimination. This ruling will help close that door and marks a great step forward for human rights in the United States. He joins the LGBTQ community and its millions of allies in celebrating this historic decision."

From the daily briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, June 26, 2015.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Rules For Same-Sex Marriage/Marriage Equality !!!


"Held: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State...

... The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. Baker v. Nelson is overruled. The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples...

... The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of State. Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character."


"... The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. With that knowledge must come the recognition that laws excluding same-sex couples from he marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter...

Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.

The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. The Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way, though they set forth independent principles. Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal protection may rest on different precepts and are not always co-extensive, yet in some instances each may be instructive as to the meaning and reach of the other... This interrelation of the two principles furthers our understanding of what freedom is and must become...

... [Lawrence v. Texas] drew upon principles of liberty and equality to define and protect the rights of gays and lesbians, holding the State “cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."

This dynamic also applies to same-sex marriage. It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality. Here the marriage laws enforced by the respondents are in essence unequal: same-sex couples are denied all the benefits afforded to opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right. Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry...

These considerations lead to the conclusion that the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them. Baker v. Nelson must be and now is overruled, and the State laws challenged by Petitioners in these cases are now held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.

... The dynamic of our constitutional system is that individuals need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right. The Nation’s courts are open to injured individuals who come to them to vindicate their own direct, personal stake in our basic charter. An individual can invoke a right to constitutional protection when he or she is harmed, even if the broader public disagrees and even if the legislature refuses to act. The idea of the Constitution “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette... This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."...

... The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court also must hold - and it now does hold - that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. "

"It is so ordered."

KENNEDY,J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined; (Obergefell et al. v. Hodges et al.) June 26, 2015.



Tylenol Runs Inclusive Ad

Click to watch the video

Thursday, May 28, 2015

UN Head Lauds Irish Vote

“… And of course, Ireland has just become the first country to grant same-sex marital rights through a national referendum. I was not here at Dublin Castle on Saturday night, but I saw the pictures of the jubilant crowd that gathered outside when the official count was announced. And I listened to interviews in which several people talked movingly about their experiences with bullying, discrimination and life in the shadows.

Ireland voted on marriage, but in the process you have also decided to fully include members of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community in the life of this nation. The United Nations will continue to speak out, including through the Free & Equal campaign. You don’t have to be LGBT to care about LGBT rights; you only have to care about equality, fairness and human dignity. Those values are certainly part of the Irish identity.

As Secretary-General, from day one, I have declared that I will make the United Nations the best workplace for LGBT people to work. At that time, these people were working in the shadows. They were very cautious. When I invited the representatives of LGBT staff, they refused to take a picture with me. They were the first in the world who refused to take a picture with me - you’d be surprised. Everybody wants to take a picture with me! I asked why? Why are you afraid? [They said] because our photos will be put on a website. They didn’t want to be identified. So I agreed. I promised that I will keep the photo to myself and I’d only give it to [them] without publicizing it. As time went by, because they were encouraged, they made a calendar - a 12-page calendar, one year - putting in their photos with me. Every month, there were different photos. So they feel that their rights and human dignity are protected. Now for the first time again this last year I changed my administrative bulletin that those same-sex married couples will be given the same financial entitlements. That was historic. You may not know how hard I [fought]. There was serious fighting within the General Assembly. Some Member States submitted a draft resolution to reverse, to kill my decision. Their argument was that I was acting beyond my own authority. Fortunately, that resolution was defeated by the majority of the Member States. In fact, I did this first before you had your national referendum! So I’m proud that the United Nations is leading this campaign.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, May 25, 2015.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ireland Votes For Same-Sex Marriage

"Today Ireland made history.

The first country in the world to vote for equal marriage. I welcome that and thank all those who voted yesterday. In the privacy of the ballot box they made a public statement.

With today's Yes vote we have disclosed who we are - a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people.

Yes to inclusion.
Yes to generosity.
Yes to love, and
Yes to equal marriage.

I know that for tens of thousands of couples and their families, the past 24 hours were almost a vigil at the end of a long journey. Would their fragile and deeply personal hopes be realised?

Would a majority of people, in this our Republic, stand with them and stand up for them so that they can live in our shelter and no longer in our shadow?

That having come out to us we could now come out for them - and do it with a single word, a solitary syllable - Yes - marked with an X.

Today they have their answer. The people have answered the call of families and friends, of neighbours and new acquaintances.

Of Jack O’Rourke and Edel Tierney, Finian Curran and Allie Kershaw and Jerry, Leo, Pat and so many others. It was their stories and their voices that inspired the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

Our people have truly answered Ireland's Call.

The referendum was about inclusiveness and equality, about love and commitment being enshrined in the constitution. For a significant proportion who voted against the amendment it was because of genuinely held views which are to be respected.

The decision makes every citizen equal and will strengthen the institution of marriage for all existing and future marriages. All people now have an equal future to look forward to.

So – the people went to the polls.
It passed.
The answer is YES.
Yes to their future.
Yes to their love.
Yes to their equal marriage.
That yes is heard loudly across the living world as a sound of pioneering leadership of our people and hopefully across the generations of gay men and women born as we say, before their time.

The people have spoken.

They have said yes.

Ireland – thank you."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Irish Leader), May 23, 2015. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NY Gov Slams Indiana

"WHEREAS, New York State is a national leader in protecting the civil rights and liberties of all of its citizens;

WHEREAS, New York State in 1945 enacted the first state law against discrimination in the nation, which now prohibits discrimination on many bases including age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status, and disability;

WHEREAS, protecting the civil rights and liberties of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a compelling state sanctioned government interest;

WHEREAS, protecting New York State from inadvertently financing discrimination against LGBT people is a compelling state sanctioned government interest;

WHEREAS, the State of Indiana has enacted legislation to protect religious freedom, but does not expressly prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens;

WHEREAS, the exercise of religious freedom should not be a justification for discrimination based upon sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, or other protected classes;

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the state of New York to promote fairness, protect the welfare of the citizens of the state of New York, and combat discrimination;

NOW THEREFORE, I ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by my office, the New York State Constitution, and the Statutes of the state of New York, do hereby ORDER AND DIRECT

  • All agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions to review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of Indiana so long as there is law in effect there that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT citizens.
  • To bar any such publically funded or publically sponsored travel to such location, unless such travel is necessary for the enforcement of New York State law, to meet prior contractual obligations, or for the protection of public health, welfare, and safety;
  • New York State’s ban on publically funded travel shall take effect immediately and shall continue while such law remains in effect."
New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Executive Order No. 144, March 31, 2015.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

SF Mayor Slams Indiana

" Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement after Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law that legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals:

“We stand united as San Franciscans to condemn Indiana’s new discriminatory law, and will work together to protect the civil rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of Indiana that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety. San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the State of Indiana.” " March 26, 2015.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Alabama

"This case challenges the constitutionality of the State of Alabama’s “Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment” and the “Alabama Marriage Protection Act.” It is before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment (Docs. 21, 22, 47 & 48). For the reasons explained below, the Court finds the challenged laws to be unconstitutional on Equal Protection and Due Process Grounds...

For the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Doc. 21), is GRANTED and Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Docs. 47), is DENIED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Ala.CONST. ART. I, § 3603 (2006) and Ala. CODE 1975 § 30-1-19 are unconstitutional because they violate they Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Judge Callie V. S. Granade, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Southern  Division, January 23, 2015.

      click here to read entire decision (not quite primary source)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pro-Gay State of the Union Address

"And there’s one last pillar of our leadership, and that’s the example of our values.

... That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer."...

President Barack Obama, January 20, 2015.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Orlando Mayor Celebrates Florida Same-Sex Marriage

"January 6 was a historic day for our City and our State as we became the 36th state (plus D.C.) to provide marriage equality for all. I was honored to host a wedding ceremony for 44 couples at Orlando City Hall.

The lifting of the ban on same-sex marriage in our State is advancing civil rights and equal treatment for all of Orlando’s residents and provides more than 1,200 legal and economic protections for same-sex families.

Because we have and continue to embrace diversity, Orlando is at the forefront for attracting businesses, talent and people from across the globe. I am proud that Orlando is a welcoming, multi-cultural community that people from across the country and globe want to call home.

I hope you will join me in congratulating the couples who celebrated their wedding Tuesday."

Orlando, Florida Mayor Buddy Dyer, January 6, 2015.