Here's Every 2020 Democrat's History on LGBTQ Rights

Democratic presidential hopefuls will face off in a public forum on LGBTQ issues this fall. The event, slated for National Coming Out Day on October 10, marks the first time Democratic candidates have debated queer issues since 2008, when Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Barack Obama faced off in a Human Rights Campaign Foundation forum.

A lot has changed in the past 11 years. For one thing, there’s an openly gay candidate in the race now (South Bend, IN, mayor Pete Buttigieg), reflecting the dramatic shift in attitudes toward LGBTQ people symbolized most prominently in the legalization of same-sex marriage. Whereas only one candidate in 2008—Kucinich, then an Ohio congressman—spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage, there is little apparent daylight between the 2020 candidates’ current stances on LGBTQ rights. There has also been a major cultural awakening around transgender rights and gender identity.

via Here's Every 2020 Democrat's History on LGBTQ Rights

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Taylor Swift Donated a Bunch of Money to a Tennessee LGBTQ Advocacy Group

A newly-political Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to a pro-LGBTQ group in her adopted home state of Tennessee.

In addition to the princely sum Swift gave to the Tennessee Equality Project, which “advocates for the equal rights of LGBTQ people in Tennessee,” she also included a nice handwritten note, which read:

via Taylor Swift Donated a Bunch of Money to a Tennessee LGBTQ Advocacy Group

Queerbaiting – exploitation or a sign of progress? – BBC News

Ariana Grande stands accused of manipulating her gay fans by suggesting in one of her songs that she may be bisexual. So what is so-called queerbaiting?
Grande’s new song, a collaboration with friend Victoria Monét called Monopoly, claimed the number one spot on the iTunes chart 24 hours after its release.
But a particular lyric, in which Grande sings of liking “women and men” has added scrutiny to the customary buzz that now follows the American singer.
Some fans have celebrated it as an expression of bisexuality. Others, however, have levelled charges of queerbaiting, which is the practice of using hints of sexual ambiguity to tease an audience.

via Queerbaiting – exploitation or a sign of progress? – BBC News

Gay conversion therapy: ‘I thought being straight would make me happy’ – BBC Three

I closed my eyes and clenched my fists; although we were sat opposite each other face to face, I avoided the therapist’s gaze. But I focused intently on his words: “So, your mother worked, you say?” I nodded. That was followed by, “You must feel anxious around boys. Why is that?” I gritted my teeth in response and stayed silent.
I was always terrified before each session as I trudged up the stairs to his office – nervous someone might see me and realise why I was there. I never fully relaxed, my back stiff and my body tense the whole time.

via Gay conversion therapy: ‘I thought being straight would make me happy’ – BBC Three

Public sex banned in two New Orleans gay bars investigation

Two New Orleans leather bars known for their cruising scenes have been hit in recent months with charges, fines, and a shutdown in sexual activity (which is barred in public venues by Louisiana State Laws). Some have assumed that the impositions on Phoenix and Rawhide 2010 have been politically motivated, perhaps the result of a homophobic witch hunt (“an attack on one of us is an attack on all us,” read a message posted by Phoenix management on the bar’s Facebook in February), but a recent article in New Orleans LGBTQ magazine Ambush paints a more nuanced picture of investigations arising from direct complaints that are the result of community in-fighting and sexual discrimination.

via Public sex banned in two New Orleans gay bars investigation

It’s High Time Congress Passed the Equality Act | American Civil Liberties Union

On Wednesday, the Equality Act — legislation that would provide LGBTQ people with explicit and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections — was introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with the support of nearly 300 members of Congress. If passed, it would transform the civil rights landscape in the United States.

The harsh reality — despite increasing support among the public and representation in popular culture — is that discrimination remains a persistent problem for LGBTQ people across the country. From discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ youth in our nation’s schools to older same-sex couples who are denied housing in retirement communities because of their sexual orientation, this is something that LGBTQ people confront throughout our lives and in every corner of the country.

via It’s High Time Congress Passed the Equality Act | American Civil Liberties Union

Birmingham primary school suspends LGBT lessons indefinitely | Education | The Guardian

A Birmingham primary school that taught pupils about LGBT rights as part of a programme to challenge homophobia has suspended the lessons indefinitely until a resolution is reached with protesting parents.

Parkfield community school in Saltley has been the scene of weekly protests over the lessons, which parents claim are promoting gay and transgender lifestyles.

School chiefs have now said the No Outsiders lessons, which teach tolerance of diverse groups, including those of different races, genders and sexual orientation, will not be taught “until a resolution has been reached”.

Previously Parkfield said they would continue as normal after the Easter holidays.

This month about 600 Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day, parents said. Parkfield would not confirm the number.

via Birmingham primary school suspends LGBT lessons indefinitely | Education | The Guardian

Find LGBTQ-Friendly Accommodations When You Travel With Mister B&B

When you’re searching for accommodations online you can often find information about how big the place is, what kind of bed you’re sleeping in, and what sorts of restaurants are nearby. However, what you might not be able to find out in a listing is whether or not your hosts are LGBTQ-friendly.

Mister B&B is a website that exclusively lists gay-friendly accommodations around the world. The website and app work a bit like Airbnb, in that individuals can list rooms or apartments for rent. Nightly rates are determined by hosts. Unlike Airbnb, Mister B&B also lists booking options at local gay-owned or gay-friendly hotels (you can toggle the hotel option on or off when you search).

via Find LGBTQ-Friendly Accommodations When You Travel With Mister B&B

Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

For months, the landmark Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress, and last month, funding for the bill expired, putting programs that support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking at risk. On Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers reintroduced the bill, hoping that in 2019, with a Democrat-stacked House, Congress will finally reauthorize the critical piece of legislation.

On Thursday morning, four people appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on VAWA: Ramona Gonzalez, a Wisconsin family court judge who oversees cases of domestic violence; Sarah Deer, a law professor who has built her career advocating for the rights of Native Americans in sexual assault and domestic violence cases; Rob Valente, a policy consultant for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and finally, Julia Beck, a self-identified radical lesbian feminist who has, in recent months, become a beloved figure in conservative media for her exclusionary, anti-trans views.

via Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

Transgender debate: Scottish footballer says ‘the barriers are coming down’ – BBC Sport

Footballer Blair Hamilton says “the barriers are coming down” to transgender athletes competing in sport, after recent criticism from Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies.

Navratilova – one of the most successful tennis players of all time – has been criticised as “transphobic” for writing that transgender women had “unfair” physical advantages over female opponents. She later apologised for using the term “cheating”.

On Saturday, former British swimmer Sharron Davies told BBC Sport that many current athletes “feel the same way” as Navratilova and that trans athletes should not compete in female events to “protect women’s sport”.

via Transgender debate: Scottish footballer says ‘the barriers are coming down’ – BBC Sport