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Old 11-12-2015, 07:43 AM   #81
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Utah judge orders baby taken away from married lesbian foster parents

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...foster-parents
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:00 PM   #82
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Update:
Utah authorities fight judge’s order to remove baby from lesbian foster parents

Utah state officials have announced they will fight a judge’s order that a baby girl be taken away from her married lesbian foster parents and placed with a heterosexual couple.

Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services said on Thursday that it would go to an appeals court if state juvenile Judge Scott Johansen did not rescind his decision.

The state agency said the judge went against its recommendation that the baby should stay with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, a married couple in Price, Utah.

In his decision Johansen claimed research had shown children did better when raised by heterosexual families.

Utah’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, said on Thursday that the judge should apply the law rather than his personal beliefs. Herbert said he was puzzled by the ruling , which shocked rights groups and prompted a tweet from the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that being a good parent “has nothing to do with sexual orientation – thousands of families prove that”.

Herbert said: “He may not like the law, but he should follow the law. We don’t want to have activism on the bench in any way, shape or form.”

Herbert added that the judge should not “inject his own personal beliefs and feelings in superseding the law”.

The judge’s order calls for the baby girl the couple has been raising for three months to be taken away within a week.

April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce said the judge claimed that research showed children did better when raised by heterosexual couples. A Utah courts spokeswoman, Nancy Volmer, said judicial rules mean Johansen could not discuss the case.

Hoagland said: “We’ve been told to care for this child like a mother would, and I am her mother, I mean that’s who she knows.

“And she’s just going to be taken away in seven days, to another probably good, loving home, but it’s just, it’s not fair, and it’s not right and it just hurts me really badly.”

The ruling came during a routine hearing for Hoagland and Peirce. They are part of a group of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after the recent US supreme court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country, said a spokeswoman for the state’s family services agency, Ashley Sumner.

“We are shattered,” Hoagland told the Salt Lake City television station KUTV. “It hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Peirce added: “He’s never been in our home, never spent time with the child in our home or our other children so he doesn’t know anything about this.”

A full transcript of the ruling has not been made public, and may not be because court records of cases involving foster children were kept private to protect the children, Sumner said.

Sumner said she could not speak to specifics of the case but confirmed that the couple’s account of the ruling is accurate – the judge’s decision was based on the couple being lesbians. The agency was not aware of any issues with their parenting, she said.

Hoagland and Peirce had passed background checks, interviews and home inspections.

The couple said they had planned to adopt the infant with her birth mother’s blessing. Their family already includes Peirce’s biological children, aged 12 and 14.

Peirce told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the childcare agency and a court-appointed representative for the child also supported the couple, “so the only thing standing in the way is the judge”.

The judge’s ruling prompted a heated response from the Human Rights Campaign, which called it “outrageous, shocking and unjust”.


http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/utah...oster-parents/
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:19 AM   #83
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Monday 07 December 2015

Gay refugees placed in separate accommodation after attacks December 4, 2015

Five gay asylum seekers in Amsterdam have been moved to a new location after they were spat on and attacked by other people in their refugee centre, the Parool says on Friday. The five – three from Syria, one from Iran and one from Iraq – have been moved to a house owned by housing corporation Rochdale. Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff said earlier he did not support separate accommodation for gay refugees because it was ‘stigmatising’.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army, which is in charge of refugee accommodation in the capital, said the men’s safety could not be guaranteed in their former housing. ‘They often don’t dare to leave their rooms,’ Philip Tijsma from gay rights lobby group COC told the Parool. In October, two other asylum seekers were rehoused after problems at a refugee centre in the district of Zuidoost. This weekend, four other gay men will move to a house in Rotterdam.

The Parool said that at the beginning of next year gay refugees will have their own wing in the Groenhof refugee centre in a former care home close to the city centre. ‘LGBTs are extra vulnerable and I consider it crucial that they have a safe environment to recover and receive care,’ city alderman Simone Kukenheim said. Share Share Share Tweet Share

Read more at DutchNews.nl: Gay refugees placed in separate accommodation after attacks http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archive...after-attacks/
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"...I'm deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions ... The thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable."

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Old 02-02-2016, 07:33 PM   #84
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Huffington Post changed their Gay Voices page to Queer Voices!


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...422f9?ip4uc8fr
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Are you educated or indoctrinated?
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:21 PM   #85
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Default Tennessee bill would allow counselors to deny service based on religion

(Reuters) - The Tennessee House passed a bill on Wednesday allowing mental health counselors to refuse service to patients on religious grounds, the latest in a list of U.S. state measures that gay rights activists have criticized as discriminating against the LGBT community.

A vote by the state House of Representatives protects therapists and counselors from civil lawsuits and criminal action if they deny services to clients whose religious beliefs conflict with their own.

The bill passed by a 68-22 vote and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature. The state Senate passed the bill earlier this year.

Supporters of the bill say it protects the rights of counselors who object on religious grounds to the adopted code of ethics of the American Counseling Association. But opponents say it is an attempt to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, a vulnerable population often in need of counseling services.

The House bill, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Dan Howell, is one of many that are being challenged by human rights organizations claiming the legislation is anti-LGBT.

The Tennessee Equality Project, which supports gay rights, condemned the House passage of the bill even though it does not specifically refer to the LGBT issue. The group called on the governor to veto the legislation.

Haslam told Nashville Public Radio he has not decided whether to sign or veto the counseling legislation, but he was considering the impact it may have on the state and its citizens.

"They (state lawmakers) need to obviously always vote their conscience," he told the radio station. "One of the things, though, that we should be mindful of is, is there a broader impact?"

https://www.yahoo.com/news/tennessee...--finance.html
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:34 PM   #86
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Default Welcome to the new and improved America!

Cops force lesbian to leave ladies’ toilet after refusing to believe she’s a woman

A lesbian is forcibly removed from a ladies’ toilet by police who don’t believe she’s a woman in jaw-dropping footage.

In the video, an unidentified woman can be seen in a standoff with the cops, as she tries to convince them that she’s female.

Her friends intervene and try to reassure the officers she’s a girl, but they insist on seeing identification if she wants to stay.

And when she declines their demand, they manhandle her out of the toilet, calling her “sir” and ignoring her pals as they shout “she’s a girl”.

Eventually police tell her friends “you can all leave if you want” causing them to reply that they will before the video ends.

Blogger Tamara McDaniel, who shared the footage on Facebook, said the police were punishing the woman’s dress sense.

She also made reference to new legislation targeting the transgender community passed in the American state of North Carolina.

The new rules require transgender people to use only those public toilets that correspond to the gender given on their birth certificates.

Viewers implied the new law was the reason the police were asking the girl for identification and heaped scorn on them for enforcing the rules.

Tamara wrote: “A lesbian was harassed and forced to leave a public restroom because the police insist she's a man. Is this what ‘Make America Great Again’ means?

“This makes me very sad and I want no part of this irrational fear. I mean, can't you think of a 1,000 ways these laws will be used as an excuse to harass, humiliate, and arrest people?”

Since the video was posted online last week it has caused a storm of outrage, being watched more than two million times and generating over four thousand comments.

Claire Wilson wrote: “Absolutely disgraceful. It's bad enough that a woman is ejected from a women's restroom because she's not wearing ‘women's clothes’.

“But isn't it a bit ridiculous that they sent men in there to get her? Doesn't sending two men in just exacerbate the discomfort of the idiot that reported her?”

Liz Wendler added: “This seriously made my heart race with anger. Thank you to the other women there who were vouching for this woman. If only the government would show the same solidarity!”

President Barack Obama last week insisted transgender British tourists would be treated with “extraordinary hospitality” during a press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron.

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/late...-woman-female-
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:23 AM   #87
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U.S. Supreme Court Supports Rights of Gay Parent, Overturns Alabama Ruling

By Mark Sherman and Phillip Lucas | Associated Press on March 7, 2016 3:10 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Alabama’s top court went too far when it tried to upend a lesbian mother’s adoption of her partner’s children. equalvoice_logo

The justices threw out a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court in a dispute between two women whose long-term relationship ended bitterly.

“I have been my children’s mother in every way for their whole lives. I thought that adopting them meant that we would be able to be together always,” the noncustodial parent known in court documents by the initials V.L. said in a statement issued by her attorney. “When the Alabama court said my adoption was invalid and I wasn’t their mother, I didn’t think I could go on. The Supreme Court has done what’s right for my family.”

Before their breakup, one partner bore three children; the other formally adopted them in Georgia. The Alabama residents went to Georgia because they had been told Atlanta-area courts would be more receptive than judges in Alabama. The Georgia court granted the adoption in 2007.

Alabama courts got involved when the birth mother tried to prevent her former partner from regular visits with the children. The two women had been together for about 16 years.

The Alabama Supreme Court sided with the birth mother in refusing to recognize the other woman as a parent and declaring the adoption invalid under Georgia law. Alabama justices ruled that the Georgia adoption law didn’t allow a “non-spouse to adopt a child without first terminating the parental rights of the current parents.”

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily set aside the Alabama decision as the justices decided whether to hear the woman’s appeal. The issue was whether the actions of one state’s courts must be respected by another’s.

On Monday, the justices said in an unsigned opinion that “the Alabama Supreme Court erred in refusing to grant that judgment full faith and credit.”

National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura, one of several attorneys who represented V.L., called the court’s decision a victory for thousands of families.

“No adoptive parent or child should have to face the uncertainty and loss of being separated years after their adoption just because another state’s court disagrees with the law that was applied in their adoption,” she said.

Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling reaffirms family’s rights and the Alabama court ignored the Constitution in the case.

“In fact, the Alabama court’s ruling was so contrary to the Constitution that the Supreme Court did not even need briefing and oral argument to reverse it,” Schaeffer said in a statement.

The case illustrated legal challenges facing gay and lesbian parents even after the Supreme Court issued a ruling last June that effectively legalized same-sex marriages nationwide.

“Any attempt to deny legal rights to our families is reprehensible, and this ruling establishes that bias and discrimination cannot be allowed to undermine the bond between LGBT parents and their children,” Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement, adding that the ruling sets a firm precedent for other courts.

“These children have two parents, and should have the security that comes with legal recognition,” Warbelow said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org...labama-ruling/
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Last edited by Jesse; 05-04-2016 at 10:28 AM. Reason: I just realized this is old news as of March 2016. I should not post before I am fully awake!
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:34 AM   #88
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Default Leo Varadkar set to be Ireland's first openly gay Prime Minister

Ireland's governing Fine Gael party elected Leo Varadkar as its new leader on Friday, choosing the gay, 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant to succeed Enda Kenny as prime minister in a striking sign of the country's rapid social change.

Varadkar overcame ministerial colleague Simon Coveney as expected, winning an overwhelming majority among the centre-right party's lawmakers who hope the straight-talking Dubliner can lead them to third successive term for the first time.

Bar an unexpected development, Varadkar will be voted in as prime minister when parliament next sits on June 13 and become the once-staunchly Catholic country's first openly gay premier and the youngest person ever to hold the office.

"If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic," Varadkar said to huge applause in a speech at Dublin's Mansion House, where Ireland's parliament first sat almost a century ago.

"I know when my father travelled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity.

"Every proud parent in Ireland today can dream big dreams for their children," Varadkar said.

His election marks another chapter in the social change that has swept through the country of 4.6 million people that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 but became the first country to adopt gay marriage via a popular vote in 2015.

It also shows another face of modern-day Ireland. Varadkar's father Ashok, who like his son is a doctor, was born in Mumbai in India. He met his wife Miriam, an Irish nurse, in England in the 1970s before moving to Ireland where Varadkar was born.

The generational shift from Kenny, 66, who led the party for 15 years and has been prime minister since 2011, will likely be matched with Varadkar's cabinet choices. Paschal Donohoe, 42, is expected to be promoted to finance minister, replacing the retiring Michael Noonan.

Varadkar's opponents, who hope his blunt style will prove a liability rather than an asset to Fine Gael, were quick to claim that the current social protection minister -- who recently led a campaign against "welfare cheats" -- would move the government to the right.

"Leo Varadkar is a Tory. Fine Gael will be dragged even further to right under his leadership and that can only mean further hardship for ordinary people," Gerry Adams, president of the left-wing Sinn Fein opposition party said in a statement.

"CUT AND RUN?"

Supporters, on the other hand, excitedly compare their new leader to charismatic Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and new French President Emmanuel Macron, anticipating a rebound from last year's disappointing election where they only returned to power as the senior party in a fragile minority government.

Fine Gael has already received a bounce, regaining its standing as the most popular party in most opinion polls and Varadkar has pledged to hit the ground running with promises of increased infrastructure spending and further income tax cuts.


However, despite inheriting the fastest-growing economy in Europe, he will have less room to boost spending and cut taxes in his first budget than Kenny enjoyed in each of his last two as Ireland seeks its first balanced budget in a decade.

He will also face the diplomatic and economic challenge of Brexit, which is set to impact neighbouring Ireland more than any other European Union country due to its close trading links with Britain and land border with British-run Northern Ireland.

The constraints of minority rule, where Fine Gael relies on the backing of rival Fianna Fail on key votes, could also act as a brake on his ambitions, and while Varadkar has ruled out an early election, analysts are alive to the possibility.

"Having Leo Varadkar at the helm in the next election probably sets Fine Gael up better than under Enda Kenny, I think that's a safe bet but everyone watching Irish politics knows this is to all extents and purposes a zombie government," said David Farrell, politics professor at University College Dublin.

"I think the fact that he will be so tightly constrained would suggest that on balance going for an early election may be best for him. Cut and run during a honeymoon, on his terms, might be the way to go."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ire...ource=facebook
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:48 PM   #89
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Default One year ago today

49 of our people murdered in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

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