Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Gay Couple Come Out On Television

A gay couple have taken to the Italia’s Got Talent stage to come out to their fathers while showcasing a contemporary dance that has moved all four judges.

Roberto and Umberto told judges that they had come out to their mothers already but their fathers did not know their true sexuality.

They went on to explain they had been dance partners for two years and until now had only felt comfortable telling their mothers they were gay.

The moving performance has earned the couple a spot in the upcoming finals.

Italy is one of the few remaining countries that has not yet embraced same-sex marriage.

Advertisement

Lesbian fitness guru Jillian Michaels proposes to her longtime girlfriend

Fitness guru and reality TV star, Jillian Michaels is getting married, finally!

The star of her show Just Jillian, which takes a look inside the ‘uber-successful celebrity’s’ life, proposed to her longtime girlfriend Heidi Rhodes on the final episode of her series.

Michaels put together a highly emotional video which showed the couples life together including their two children Lukensia, 5, and Phoenix, 3.

As part of the video Michaels proposed and said:

“I know I’m an asshole all the time, but if you’ll continue to put up with me, I would like you to marry me.”

The two have been together since 2009 and it is understood while Rhoades has been wanting to tie the knot for years, Michaels took a lot longer to come around to the idea

Gay News Network AU

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to be first world leader to be in a gay pride march

Trudeau will march in this year’s Pride parade in Toronto, his first time doing so as leader of the country.

However, he has marched many times before he became prime minister in November 2015.

A vocal supporter of LGBT rights, he tweeted that he looked forward to attending.

Indonesia bans gay emojis

The Indonesian government is in the process of banning gay-themed emojis on social media platforms.

Indonesia’s popular messaging app LINE has already eliminated same-sex couple emojis a tthe behest of the government and other social media may soon follow suit.

The Japanese-Korean company who developed the LINE app have even posted an apology to Facebook for the ‘offending emoticons’.

“LINE regrets the incidents of some stickers which are considered sensitive by many people,” the statement read. “We ask for your understanding because at the moment we are working on this issue to remove the stickers.”

Ismail Cawidu, spokesman for the Communication and Information Ministry told AFP that LINE was not the only social media platform to be targeted.

The Indonesian government contacted companies with similar emojis, including Twitter and Facebook, asking them to remove them or face a blanket ban

“Such contents are not allowed in Indonesia based on our cultural law and the religious norms and the operators must respect that,” Cawidu told AFP.

Philadelphia woman gets jail time for gay bashing

The woman at the centre of a 2014 gay bashing has been sentenced to up to ten months in prison.

Kathryn Knott, the daughter of a local police cheif was in downtown Philadelphia celebrating a friend’s birthday at Philadelphia City Centre when she became involved in an altercation with a same-sex couple who were walking by the venue on their way to get a pizza.

The altercation, which involved several members of Knott’s group — including several alumni from the Catholic high school Knott had attended – soon spiralled into a violent attack.

Witnesses told police someone in Knott’s group shouted a gay slur, kicking off the fight, which left one of the victim’s with a broken jaw.

One witness claimed Knott had participated in the attack – actually throwing a punch – but Knott denied this accusation and said she was actually attempting to intervene.

Video surveillance footage appeared to back up the witness testimony and in December a jury found Knott guilty of simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. Today a judge sentenced the 25-year-old to five to ten months in jail for her crimes.

Two of Knott’s friends, Philip Williams and Kevin Harriagn had also been arrested over the attack but struck a plea bargain and are now serving probation and community service.

Transgender Discrimination: Know Your Rights

Transgender people experience higher levels of discrimination but there legal avenues for recourse. Ron Hughes reports.

When Janice [not her real name] went to her insurance company and requested they change her details from a male name to a female name, staff at the insurance company started asking her inappropriate questions about her gender identity, whether she had had “a sex change operation” and other things in front of other customers which made her feel very uncomfortable. When she suggested to the staff they change their procedures to ensure other trans people didn’t go through the same thing, they shrugged it off saying they didn’t get that many requests of this type.

Janice made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission and the insurance company came along to a compulsory conciliation conference where the matter was resolved. The company committed to undertaking a national training program for staff on gender diversity and discrimination, they committed to reviewing their procedure and policies, they formed a partnership with a not-for-profit specialising in trans issues and they made a donation to an NGO nominated by the complainant. They also invited Janice to present to the management team about her experience. It was not a monetary resolution, Janice didn’t get paid compensation, but she did ensure other trans people wouldn’t go through the same indignities.

That was a positive outcome on balance, but for trans people facing discrimination, it’s often very difficult to get a good resolution. Even simple things like getting a driver’s licence to reflect your identified gender is difficult as well as daily things such as being allowed to use the right rest-room.
Sascha Peldova-McClelland of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers explains the difficulties.

“All of those secondary documents such as driver’s licences and Medicare are reliant on either a birth certificate or a passport, so if you can get them using your passport that’s easier, because getting your passport changed into your identified gender is much easier than getting your birth certificate changed,” Peldova-McClelland says.

Under guidelines introduced in 2011, people can choose what gender they want to be listed as on new Australian passports, even if they have not undergone a sex change (as was required in the past). Now all that is needed is a letter of support from a medical practitioner.

“You can get your birth certificate changed but you have to meet some conditions that are quite restrictive: you have to be over 18 or have your parent or guardian agree and you have to have had a sex-reassignment or gender affirmation surgery. And you can’t be married. That’s how it works in NSW,” Peldova-McClelland explains.

“If you have a birth certificate that reflects your identified gender then you have to be treated as a member of your identified sex and if you’re not that is discrimination. For example, you need to be provided with access to rest rooms of your identified gender. But if you aren’t a “recognised transgender person” under the law, even though you are still protected under some of the anti-discrimination laws, none of those things are a guarantee.

“So you can try to insist that you be allowed, for example, to use bathrooms that accord with your identified gender, but there’s no law that requires employers or anyone else providing facilities to provide that to you. So it’s a bit more of a grey area.”

Discrimination in employment is another frustrating area for trans people.

“The Australian Human Rights Commission publishes reports which consistently show how difficult it is for trans people in employment. From not being recognised in their identified gender to being forced to explain themselves if their identity documents don’t match their identified gender; they’re often denied employment opportunities, denied promotion, or people often find their employment is terminated after it’s revealed that they were born a different sex, or if they announce they are going to transition to a different gender,” Peldova-McClelland says.

What legal resources do trans people have to overcome this discrimination?

“Trans people have recourse to anti-discrimination laws which exist both at a state and a federal level,” Peldova-McClelland explains. “Commonwealth legislation only began to cover gender identity in 2013. That covers things like employment, education, provision of goods and services, accommodation and so on.”

“There’s direct discrimination, for example where somebody might be sacked or bullied or harassed on the basis they are trans, which is unlawful. There’s also indirect discrimination, which is where there’s a requirement or condition which is on its face neutral, but it has the effect of disadvantaging people who are trans. An example: if a company has an HR policy which doesn’t permit changes to an employee’s records, that policy may require a trans person to be constantly disclosing information about their gender identity in order to explain why there’s discrepancies in their personal details,” Peldova-McClelland says.

“You can action that under Commonwealth laws. You can go to the Australian Human Rights Commission and lodge a complaint. The Commission will investigate the complaint and may decide to hold a compulsory conciliation conference where the complainant and for example their employer will attend and try to come to a resolution and if that’s not possible then the complainant has the option to take the matter to the federal court.”

“In case law there’s hardly anything on gender identity discrimination and I think that’s because most of these matters get resolved at the conciliation stage, because it’s so difficult to prosecute them beyond that stage. It’s very expensive, it takes years and discrimination is quite difficult to prove as a technical matter,” Peldova-McClelland says. “A lot of the published decisions you’ll see say ‘No, there was no discrimination’. So it’s quite hard.”

Another murky aspect of the law is that quite often there’s no real legal definition of sex. “You get definitions like, ‘A woman is a person of the female sex’ – totally opaque,” Peldova-McClelland says. “There’s this assumption that sex is this sort of natural, easily discoverable thing that structures society and when you look at it it’s really, really complex. It brings into question a lot of structures in our society. It’s a huge question.”

Getting help

“If you have a complaint under Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws you go to the Human Rights Commission, if you have a complaint under state law you go the anti-discrimination board or tribunal or equal opportunity commission in your state,” Peldova-McClelland says.

Given the laws vary from state to state people can find themselves with different levels of protection and protection for different things in different states. Given there’s not that much case law and laws vary from state to state Peldova-McClelland advises anyone wanting to pursue a complaint to consult with a lawyer experienced in anti-discrimination work as an initial step.

“I know that often involves money which makes it impossible for some people,” she says, “But if there are community legal centres that can help, such as Sydney’s Inner City Legal Centre, which specialises in LGBTI legal issues I’d definitely recommend that. The choice of which jurisdiction to go for is a complex one and it’s not something you’ll be able to get your head around just by reading websites. Have a word with a lawyer first. Anyone practicing in discrimination law should be able to help.”

Sascha Peldova-McClelland is a lawyer specialising in Employment and Industrial Law with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Sascha has a particular interest in ending sex and LGBTI discrimination in the workplace. Go to mauriceblackburn.com.au

Gay News Network AU

Gay and Lesbian couples feature in Hallmark Valentine’s campaign

Greeting card giant Hallmark has featured a gay and lesbian couple in their most recent advertising campaign for Valentine’s Day.

The campaign which asks ‘how do you know when you’ve found the one?’ features six different couples relaying their personal stories of romance and explains what it means to find your ‘person’.

The one card campaign

Sharing their stories for the camera are gay couple Robin and Jason appearing with their daughter and lesbians La Paris and Karisia

LaParis and Karisia recall the first time they met and for LaParis it was love at first sight…
“i was completely smitten by her,” says LaParis.

LaParis and Karisia

Gay husbands Robin and Jason remember the moment they frist found out they were having a baby.

“When you meet someone and fall in love it’s an exciting process. Then you have a baby and it’s almost like starting a new relationship,” says Jason.

Robin and Jason

LGBT group raises funds to buy anti-gay church

LGBT advocacy groups are fundraising to purchase a New YorK City Church that was run by reverend David Manning, best known for proclaiming ‘Homos should be stoned’.

The Atlah Worldwide Church is set to be sold in a public auction this month following a court order. The Church is said to owe over $1million in unpaid taxes and bills.

Upon hearing of the sale, LGBT groups have set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to buy the church to turn it into a support and respite centre for homeless LGBT young people.

Since setting up the page on Friday more than $118,000 has been pledged to the Ali Forney Center which is hoping to use the space to expand housing for LGBT youth.

“I think it would represent a real healing of a terrible wound that’s been in that neighbourhood,” said Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center.

The centre currently houses 107 homeless youth and has a drop-in area three blocks from Atlah. It offers mental health and medical services and provides over 50,000 meals to homeless LGBT youth annually.

Siciliano said that every night the centre turns away between 170 to 200 young people in need.

If the centre fails to raise enough funds to buy the building, it plans to use the monies raised to assist with homeless LGBT youth programs at other sites.

Transgender Teen Girl Shares Powerful Messages

Transgender teen shares powerful message on bullying on notecards: “We’re not a threat. We’re just like any other kids.

Video Date: 2016-06-16 19:09:58
Video Duration: 00:04:46
Tags: Transgender, Transgender Girl, Transgender Kids, Transsexual, Transsexuals