Gay Primary Source

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Canada Honors Marriage Equality

" At an event today in downtown Toronto, Canada Post unveiled a stamp commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which made marriage equality the law throughout Canada. Grassroots activists, government officials and community members attended the unveiling, catching the first glimpse of the new stamp, which features the iconic rainbow symbol. The unveiling was held at and in partnership with The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities.

The marriage equality stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 that Canada Post is issuing to celebrate Canada’s 150th year since Confederation. Collectively the stamps highlight historic moments that have taken place in our nation over the past 50 years. Canada Post’s stamp advisory committee, which includes historians, collectors and artists, selected these 10 milestones that together have helped shape the story of Canada... "

Canada Post, May 9, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire press release

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bermuda Court Rules for Marriage Equality

… I hold that: The common law definition of marriage, that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, and its reflection in the Marriage Act ... are inconsistent with the provisions ... of the HRA [Human Rights Act] as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. In so doing the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage and more broadly speaking the institution of marriage.

The court examined the common law definition of marriage through the broad scope of the HRA. That scope encompasses and reflects the changing values in the modern democracy that Bermuda is. Those changing values are reflected in decisions that have emanated from the Supreme Court. The courts have struck down legislation that discriminated against a same-sex male couple from adopting a child. Further it struck down immigration legislation that treated a non-Bermudian same-sex partner of a Bermudian differently from a non-Bermudian opposite-sex from a partner of a Bermudian regarding a classification of immigration status. Against the legal, social and cultural back drop of changing attitudes regarding same-sex relationship and sexual orientation it is fair to say that notions such as marriage or the institution of marriage being predicated upon heterosexual procreation and marriage being the main and most effective means of rearing healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children, to borrow a phrase from the Chief Justice, have been turned on their heads.

Their historic and insular perspective as reflected in the common law definition of marriage is out of step with the reality of Bermuda in the 21st century.

… The common law is by definition judge made law. As such it is a creature of change... “the common law does not remain static. Its very essence is that it is able to grow to meet the expanding needs of society.” On this basis, I think that it is apt that the Court should develop the common law by giving effect to the will of Parliament as expressed in the HRA... I believe that as a matter of internal and external cohesion and legal certainty it would be appropriate for the Court to remedy those sections and grant appropriate declaratory relief along the lines of those drafted below subject to hearing counsel on the precise terms of the final Order to be drawn up to give effect to the present Judgment...

The Applicants are entitled to an Order of Mandamus compelling the Registrar to act in accordance with the requirements of the Marriage Act; and

A Declaration that same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act 1944.

I include below a draft regarding other Declarations and possible reformulations of relevant sections of the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act...

The definition of marriage to be inoperative to the extent that it contains the term “one man and one woman” and reformulated to read “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others... "

Charles-Etta Simmons, PJ, Supreme Court of Bermuda, May 5, 2017.

      Click here to read the entire decision

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nebraska Court Quashes Anti-Gay Adoption/Fostering Rule

" … the injury in an equal protection case is the imposition of a barrier that makes it more difficult for members of one group to obtain a benefit, rather than the ultimate inability to obtain the benefit ... "

Nebraska Supreme Court, April 7, 2017.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Study Equates Marriage Equality with Lower Rate of GLBT Teen Suicides


We provide evidence that implementation of same-sex marriage policies reduced adolescent suicide attempts. As countries around the world consider enabling or restricting same-sex marriage, we provide evidence that implementing same-sex marriage policies was associated with improved population health. Policymakers should consider the mental health consequences of same-sex marriage policies. "

Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts," JAMA Pediatrics, February 20, 2017; Julia Raifman (Johns Hopkins), Ellen Moscoe (Harvard), S. Bryn Austin (Harvard, Boston Children's Hospital), Margaret McConnell, PhD2

     Click here to read the entire article - download .pdf file 


National Center for Transgender Equality Fights Repeal of Title IX Protection

The Title IX guidance, widely hailed by educational and child health experts, made clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination and must be treated according to their gender identities. Should the Administration rescind the guidance, trans students would still be protected under Title IX. But such clear action directed at children would be a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies, but are ill-equipped to fight bullies on the floors of their state legislatures and in the White House. "

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality, February 21, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Virginia Governor Issues Anti-Discrimination Executive Order

I hereby order the following:

I. Require future state contracting to require prohibitions on discrimination in employment, subcontracting, and delivery of goods and services, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is hereby ordered as the policy of the Executive Branch that it will only contract with those who abide by the non-discrimination policies set forward in Executive Order 1 (2014), namely that discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status is prohibited.

II. Prohibit discrimination, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in the provision of state services. Building on the requirements of Executive Order 1 (2014), I hereby order that no state employee or agent within the Executive Branch may engage in discrimination in the provision of public services based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status. Any state employee or agent who engages in such discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action."

Virginia Governor Terence A. McAuliffe, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire Executive Order

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kerry Apologizes for Past DOS Discrimination

" Throughout my career, including as Secretary of State, I have stood strongly in support of the LGBTI community, recognizing that respect for human rights must include respect for all individuals. LGBTI employees serve as proud members of the State Department and valued colleagues dedicated to the service of our country. For the past several years, the Department has pressed for the families of LGBTI officers to have the same protections overseas as families of other officers. In 2015, to further promote LGBTI rights throughout the world, I appointed the first ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.

In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today.

On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community. "

US Secretary of State John Kerry, January 9, 2017.

     Click here for original (unless future administration takes it down)


Wheeling WV Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Law

" In order to build an inclusive community, the City will dedicate, deliberate, and provide continuous attention to the human relations and human rights of its residents and visitors. It is the public policy of the City to provide all of its residents and workers equal opportunity for employment, equal access to places of public accommodations and equal opportunity on the sale, purchase, lease, rental and financing of housing accommodations or real property. Equal opportunity in the areas of employment,public accommodations, housing accommodations or real property is hereby declared to be a human right or civil right of all persons without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The denial of these rights to properly qualified persons by reason of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity is contrary to the principles of freedom and quality of opportunity and is destructive to a free and democratic society.

This City policy is based on the recognition and vision that the diversity found in our City brings forth richness in our community, a greater understanding of our world, a multitude of talent to benefit collective needs, and an opportunity for enhanced living and learning for all. Inherent in this policy is a commitment to encourage and endeavor to bring about equal opportunity, mutual understanding and respect for persons of all ages, abilities, ancestry, blindness, color, disabilities, ethnicities, familial status, veteran status, national origins, sex, races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and other backgrounds or orientations. "

Wheeling WV City Council adds sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in non-discrimination ordinance, passed unanimously December 20, 2016.

     Click here to read the entire bill

Monday, January 9, 2017

Texas Biz Org Slams Bathroom Bill

[Texas Republicans try to out-do North Carolina]

After months of debate and an unprecedented special session by the North Carolina Legislature, it’s unfortunate to see that the state chose not to repeal the discriminatory law created by HB 2. North Carolina and states that embrace discriminatory legislation will continue to suffer dire economic consequences, losing revenue and major events and disrupting job creation and investment.

That’s why the Texas business community has made clear that discriminatory laws like HB 2 have no place in Texas. We can’t afford to slam the door on the Texas Miracle, and create an environment hostile to business, unsafe and unwelcoming for citizens and harmful to our larger economy and prosperity. Keep Texas Open for Business will continue to press our own Texas lawmakers to roundly reject discriminatory bills, no matter how they’re phrased or what they’re named.

Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, December 21, 2016.

All Texans care deeply about safety and privacy, but [Texas] Senate Bill 6 isn’t about either of those things. Senate Bill 6 is discriminatory and wholly unnecessary legislation that, if passed, could cost Texas as much as $8.5 billion in GDP and the loss of more than 185,000 jobs in the first year alone.

Our communities, our families and businesses across this state face a far more uncertain future if this kind of unnecessary regulation is enacted here. We cannot afford the real human consequences and staggering economic impact of slamming the door on the Texas’ history of openness, competitiveness, economic opportunity and innovation.

The so-called Texas Privacy Act won’t make restrooms any safer for men, women and children, and it will do far more harm to them than good. This legislation will needlessly jeopardize jobs, investment, innovation and tax revenue for our state, and it sullies our reputation as an open, inclusive and welcoming state. It is also wholly unenforceable and unsupported by any public safety evidence, and will create situations that invade the privacy of Texans from all walks of life.
Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the Dec. 21 press release

     Click here to read the Jan. 5 press release