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Anything you see or hear in the media about the GLBTIQ community.

Tags: Extra, Extra!, gay headlines, wassup

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Hi, Miss Beautiful Raindrop Rainbow Hat!

Hello mommydaddy,

  I was born into the baby momkin' litter, a rainbow gift of sweetness. The monkin babys are to rowdy for a tiny rainbow hat spider baby so mommy put me in a tiny jewelery box with a cotton bed. 

  I wil live in your and mommys garden if you gently transport me to the sunflowers wen Im big enough. From my perch wil spin rainbow webs of dew drops for you every morning.

I love you, tiny rainbow hat spider baby!

Mommydaddy will be sure to find you a special place among the sunflowers when you're grown. 

Senate Nears Historic Vote on Gay Rights Bill

The Senate is headed for a historic vote on legislation outlawing workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, demonstrating the nation's quickly evolving attitude toward gay rights nearly two decades after Congress rejected same-sex marriage.

All 55 members of the Democratic majority, including senators from the Deep South, and several Republicans were expected to unite on Thursday in backing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008, signaled his conditional support on Wednesday.

Senate passage would be a major victory for gay rights advocates in a momentous year. The Supreme Court in June affirmed gay marriage and granted federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. In the heartland, Illinois is on the verge of becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage along with the District of Columbia.

The enthusiasm of the bill's supporters was tempered by the reality that the Republican-led House, where conservatives have a firm grip on the agenda, is unlikely to even vote on it. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, maintains his longstanding opposition to the measure, arguing that it is unnecessary and certain to create costly, frivolous lawsuits for businesses. Outside conservative groups have cast the bill as anti-family.

That didn't stop proponents from stepping up the pressure on the eve of the vote.

"I hope that we are on the verge of making history tomorrow by passing this bill with a strong vote," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday. "I then hope that our colleagues on the House side will follow suit and that we can see this bill signed into law."

Through three days of Senate debate, backers of the bill repeatedly described it as an issue of fairness some 50 years after Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.

Not a single opponent stood on the Senate floor to speak out against the bill, a remarkable silence.

"It is well past time that we, as elected representatives, ensure that our laws protect against discrimination in the workplace for all individuals, that we ensure those some protections for those within the LGBT community," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who described the diversity in her state.

Murkowski's support underscored the generational shift. Seventeen years ago, when a bill dealing with discrimination based on sexual orientation failed by one vote in the Senate, the senator's father, Frank, voted against it. That was the same year that Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.

Current federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin. But it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion. It would exempt religious institutions and the military.

By voice vote Wednesday, the Senate approved an amendment from Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire that would prevent federal, state and local governments from retaliating against religious groups that are exempt from the law.

The Senate planned to vote Thursday on an amendment by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., to expand the number of groups that are covered under the religious exemption.

Likely Senate approval of the overall bill reflects the nation's growing tolerance of gays and the GOP's political calculation as it looks for supporters beyond its core base of older voters. A Pew Research survey in June found that more Americans said homosexuality should be accepted rather than discouraged by society by a margin of 60 percent to 31 percent. Opinions were more evenly divided 10 years ago.

Deep-pocketed Republican-leaning groups such as the American Unity Fund, which counts on hedge fund billionaires and Mitt Romney donors as well as former Republican lawmakers, pushed for the legislation.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have approved laws banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 17 of those also prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender identity.

About 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, according to the Human Rights Campaign. About 57 percent of those companies include gender identity.

If the House fails to act on the bill, gay rights advocates are likely to press President Barack Obama to act unilaterally and issue an executive order barring anti-gay workplace discrimination by federal contractors.

Male Dance Troupe Stirs Controversy at Christmas Parade In Alabama

Oh we love us some Prancing Elites, though alas the mostly white, conservative residents of Semmes, Ala. (population 2,000-ish) evidently didn't after the local boys' dance troupe - all-black, all-gay, all-sexy-Santa-dressed - danced their way through the annual Christmas parade, having been inadvertently invited to do so. Predictably, some spectators were “outraged and appalled." More interestingly, for enduring the jeers and stares in Semmes, the Elites got a wave of supportfrom social media, gigs for New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras, and a new Kickstarter campaign - "Society hates us, but the world loves us." The biggest loser here: The Friends of Semmes have been removed as organizers of the Christmas parade.

"The team was created (because) boys aren’t allowed to audition for the dance teams in the school system in Mobile. In their eyes, morally it isn’t right. So, we created our own team. If the girls are doing it, why can’t the boys do it too?"

OMG!!!!!

I have a few candidates for stoning right here...

 

LISTEN: If Rose Parade Can Have Gay Wedding, Why Not Stoning?

That's a possibility put forth by one right-wing activist, among many other homophobic reactions to the parade wedding.

BY TRUDY RING

JANUARY 08 2014 3:01 PM ET

Kevin Swanson

Right-wing reactions to the wedding of a gay couple on a Rose Parade float New Year’s Day are continuing to pour in, with one antigay activist theorizing about stoning and another seeking an ostensibly more receptive audience for his rants in Russia.

On a recent edition of the fundamentalist ChristianGenerations Radio program, producer Dave Buehner asked host Kevin Swanson, “I wonder what the Rose Bowl parade would do if we had the stoning of a homosexual along the parade just as an expression of free speech and all that.” Swanson replied that organizers likely wouldn’t allow that, even if, as Buehner suggested, “the stones were just made, like, of flowers and flower petals,” as the parade’s floats are. Nonetheless, Swanson said, “This is another instance in which the degradation of our society is going mainstream.”

Buehner also expressed surprise that the wedding was taking place on a float sponsored by an AIDS service organization (the AIDS Healthcare Foundation). “This is a group that’s against AIDS?” he said. “They’re not trying to spread AIDS, right? I mean, if you are trying to spread AIDS, you would have pro-homosexual propaganda, but if you’re trying to stop it…”

Later in the show, Swanson said LGBT people and their allies “are coming after Christians … to make sure they lose their jobs, to make sure that they are persecuted, to make sure that they may even be burned at the stake.” To prevent this, he said, “we have to draw lines ourselves and encourage the civil magistrate to prosecute homosexuality, especially public acts of homosexuality.”

Speaking of prosecution, another antigay leader, Brian Brown, discussed his thoughts on the parade with Voice of Russia, a radio service run by the Russian government, which has criminalized any positive mention of LGBT people as “propaganda” if the information is accessible to minors.

Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, told Voice of Russia last week that having the wedding of Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclaire in the nationally televised Southern California parade amounted to same-sex marriage being “shoved in the face of families.”

All along, we’ve been hearing from activists who support same-sex marriage, ‘Hey, if we redefine marriage, it won’t have any effect on you, this is about loving individuals, what they decide to do, it will have no effect on you,’” Brown said. “Well, lo and behold, it has to be shoved in the face of families. … The idea that you would target children and make this about using a family event to sort of indoctrinate kids, that’s just wrong.”

Listen to segments from both programs below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.


Because I went to Mizzou in the 70s when times were a little less inclusive and the three most important thing on campus were beer, football, and the next shipment of drugs--I'm especially happy to see this article...

Michael Sam, NFL draft prospect, announces he's gay

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam told The New York Times and ESPN he is gay, and the 2014 NFL Draft prospect plans to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.



"I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it," Sam told The Times. "I just want to own my truth."

"I am an openly, proud gay man," Sam told ESPN.

"I understand how big this is," he said. "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."

The 24-year-old Sam, who just completed his senior season at Missouri, was among the top pass rushers in the SEC last year with 10.5 regular-season sacks (he had another one in the Cotton Bowl), boosting his NFL draft stock despite his lack of size for the defensive end position (6-foot-2, 255 pounds).

The NFL released a statement in support of Sam on Sunday night: "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."

» Twitter explodes with reaction to Michael Sam revelation

According to The Times, Sam first told Missouri teammates L'Damian Washington and Marvin Foster about his sexual orientation about a year ago, and announced it to the squad during a team-building exercise during the preseason last year. The University of Missouri official Twitter feed expressed support for Sam Sunday night.

"I'm not naive. I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is," Sam said. "But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the NFL."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport received the following reaction from a club executive: "The league is in a better place to handle this now than a few years ago given the influx of younger GMs."

'Jerry Smith: A Football Life'
The life of gay Redskinstight end Jerry Smith will be chronicled when the special re-airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. ET. 

Rapoport also spoke to an NFL scouting director who does not believe Sam's revelation will hurt his draft status, and that Sam projects as a late-round pick. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks agreed that Sam's draft status would not be affected, but Brooks projects Sam as a mid-round selection.

NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala said another team's scouting director told her that he "knew for a while." When she asked if it had or would play in his evaluation, he emphatically said: "Not at all."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, an ex-scout with the Cleveland BrownsPhiladelphia Eagles andBaltimore Ravens, also believes Sam's draft stock will not be adversely affected.

"In my eight years in draft rooms, the subject never came up. I would expect it would not have an impact on his draft status," Jeremiah said. "In my experience with every team I was with, it was all about putting the best 53 players on the field. I don't see why that would change here."

The 2014 NFL Draft will be held May 8-10.

After the news broke on Sunday, Sam took to Twitter.

Due to his size, Sam is expected to be drafted by a club using a 3-4 defensive scheme and switched to outside linebacker, where his pass-rush skills can be best utilized. He played in the Reese's Senior Bowl last month and is among the Tigers' invitees to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this month.

Nine of his 10.5 sacks came during a trio of three-sack performances against Arkansas State, Vanderbilt and Florida. He also recorded an assisted sack while working against Texas A&M star left tackle Jake Matthews, who is expected to be a first-round draft choice.

 

Uganda's President Museveni signs controversial anti-gay bill into law

By Faith Karimi and Nick Thompson, CNN
updated 9:00 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Watch this video

Ugandan President rejects Western criticism


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Museveni signs bill that could mean life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality"
  • The bill, which has been debated in Uganda for years, originally included a death penalty
  • President Barack Obama said enacting the bill would affect U.S. relations with Uganda
  • Museveni rejects criticism of the bill as an imperialistic push by West to impose values on others

(CNN) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gay people and defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison.

Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda, and Museveni had gone back and forth recently about whether he would sign the controversial bill in the face of vocal opposition from the West.

At the public signing of the bill Monday, a defiant Museveni declared that he would not allow the West to impose its values on Uganda.

"We have been disappointed for a long time by the conduct of the West, the way you conduct yourselves there," he told CNN's Zain Verjee in Entebbe. "Our disappointment is now exacerbated because we are sorry to see that you live the way you live, but we keep quiet about it. Now you say 'you must also live like us' -- that's where we say no."

Link to Gay and afraid in Uganda

 

The bill, introduced first in 2009, originally included a death penalty clause for some homosexual acts. It was briefly shelved when Britain and other European nations threatened to withdraw aid to Uganda, which relies on millions of dollars from the international community.

The nation's parliament passed the bill in December, replacing the death penalty provision with a proposal of life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality." This includes acts in which one person is infected with HIV, "serial offenders" and sex with minors, according to Amnesty International.

The bill also proposed years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to gays and lesbians, a provision that would ensnare rights groups and others providing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Museveni's position on the law changed several times since lawmakers passed it late last year. In January he said he wouldn't sign the bill, describing homosexuals as "sick" people who needed help, not imprisonment. But he backtracked this month and said he'd sign it because scientists had determined that there is no gene for homosexuality and that it is merely a choice to embrace abnormal behavior.

"It was learned and could be unlearned," Museveni said.

Shortly after his announcement, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that enacting the bill would affect relations between the two nations. He described the proposal as an "affront and a danger to the gay community" in Uganda. The U.S. is among the nation's largest donors.

On Monday, Museveni rejected the suggestion that the new laws were a step back for Uganda and said he wasn't concerned about the West's perception of his country.

"Worried? Not at all," he told CNN. "If the West doesn't want to work with us because of homosexuals, then we have enough space here to live by ourselves and do business with other people."

"We see how you do things, the families, how they're organized. All the things, we see them, we keep quiet," he said. "It's not our country, maybe you like it. So there's now an attempt at social imperialism -- to impose social values of one group on our society."

Homosexuality in Africa

Homosexuality is illegal in 38 African countries, where most sodomy laws were introduced during colonialism. In Uganda, homosexual acts were punishable by 14 years to life in prison even before the controversial bill was signed into law.

Lawmakers in the conservative nation sought tougher legislation, saying the influence of Western lifestyles risked destroying family units.

Rights groups worldwide have condemned the bill as draconian.

READ: Uganda president: Homosexuals are 'disgusting'

Ugandan newspaper Red Pepper publishes 'top 200' homosexuals list

LGBT rights activists warn the list could endanger people's lives

A Ugandan newspaper has published what is has called the country’s “200 top” homosexuals, outing some citizens who had never publicly disclosed their sexuality.

The list comes a day after President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill enacting harsher laws on homosexuals.

The tabloid Red Pepper published the names, and some photographs, of people they claim are homosexuals, alongside the front page headline: “EXPOSED!”

Those who appear on the list include prominent Ugandan gay activists such as Pepe Julian Onziema, who condemned the anti-gay bill on Monday, and has repeatedly warned the law could spark violence against people thought to be homosexual.

The climate surrounding homosexuality in Uganda means few people are publicly out.

Red Pepper’s list echoed a similar article published in 2011 in a now-defunct tabloid that called for gay people to be executed.

Jacqueline Kasha, a well-known Ugandan lesbian activist who is among those listed in the Red Pepper story, tweeted:“The media witch hunt is back,” in reference to the 2011 list.

David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay activist, was killed after that list came out, and activists said at the time that they believed he was targeted because of his work promoting gay rights in Uganda.

Under Uganda's new-anti-gay law, gay sex is punishable by life imprisonment.

READ MORE: UGANDA: INTERNATIONAL OUTCRY AS PRESIDENT MUSEVENI SIGNS ANTI-GAY BILL

The law — which came just over a month after Nigeria passed a similar measure against homosexuals — has been internationally condemned, although it is widely popular among Ugandans.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the signing of the bill marked “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights” and warned that Washington could cut aid to the government of the East African nation.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that the law would institutionalise discrimination, and could encourage harassment and violence against people thought to be homosexual.

But President Museveni has defended the measure, and has rejected international criticism of the law as Western interference in Uganda's internal affairs.


He has accused “arrogant and careless Western groups” of trying to recruit Ugandan children into homosexuality, but he did not name these purported groups.

Ugandan police spokesman Patrick Onyango said on Tuesday that no homosexuals have been arrested since President Museveni signed the bill, but that at least two people had been taken into custody since lawmakers passed the bill last December.

Onziema, an LGBT rights activist, said he had counted up to six arrests and said that more than a dozen Ugandan homosexuals had fled the country since December over safety concerns.

Some Ugandan lawyers and activists have said they will challenge the law in court as unconstitutional and impossible to implement.

Vivian Boyack And Alice 'Nonie' Dubes Marry In Iowa After 72 Years Together

Proving it's never too late for a white wedding, Vivian Boyack and Alice "Nonie" Dubes were married Sept. 6 after 72 years together.

As The Quad City Times is reporting, the pair exchanged vows in front of a small group of family members and close friends at Davenport's First Christian Church.

Boyack, 91, left, and Dubes, 90, tied the knot Sept. 6 in Iowa.
gay wedding

Boyack, 91, and Dubes, 90, held hands during the intimate ceremony, during which Rev. Linda Hunsaker reportedly told the couple, “This is a celebration of something that should have happened a very long time ago.”

Friend Jerry Yeast agreed, telling the Times: “I’ve known these two women all my life, and I can tell you, they are special. This is a very special day for all of us.”

The women met in their hometown of Yale, Iowa before moving to Davenport in 1947, where Boyack taught school and Dubes did payroll work, according to the Associated Press.

Congrats, ladies!

Chicago Named Top Travel Destination For Closeted Gay Men

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