Tag Archives: anti-gay laws

OUTRAGE! – Google Sponsors Anti-Gay Kenyan Politician To Attend Its Web Rangers Conference In CA

google

 

Google has invited anti-gay activist and Kenyan government official Ezekiel Mutua to its Web Rangers conference in Mountain View, California, and is reportedly even sponsoring his passport and visa.

According to a report on abuses of LGBT people from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)  in Kenya sexual contact between consenting adults of the same sex is criminalized by four statutes, the most recent from 2003. Prison terms for breaking anti-gay laws can be set at  to years.

Mutua, who is the head of the Kenyan film classification board (KCFB), gained notoriety this year for banning from the country’s servers local band Art Attack’s cover of the Macklemore gay marriage anthem Same Love, saying it “promotes homosexuality” in Kenya, where homosexuality is illegal.

“Kenya must not allow people to become the Sodom and Gomorrah through psychological drive from such content,” said Mutua.

In 2014, Mutua banned Stories of Our Lives, a film about Kenya’s gay community, for “obscenity, explicit scenes of sexual activities and [for promoting] homosexuality, which is contrary to [Kenya’s] national norms and values”.

“Because of my stand on moral values, including the banning of content promoting LGBT and atheists culture in Kenya, someone wrote in a local daily that I will never get a visa to the US,” Mutua wrote in a post, now deleted, on his Facebook page.

Well, I not only got it but it came on a diplomatic passport and I didn’t even have to go to the embassy for biometrics or pay the visa application fee. It was delivered to my office free of charge thanks to our efficient ministry of foreign affairs and highly courteous US embassy officials. America here we come … TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

Sources from inside Google say that there is much conflict happening in the company over Mutua’s invitation. With some trying to defend it suggesting that discussions about bullying, especially as it affects teens struggling with nascent sexual identities, could prove helpful. But Mutua’s reputation in Kenya makes that seem highly unlikely.

Sanders Campaign Issues Statement Against Statewide Anti-LGBT “Right To Discriminate” Laws

Sanders Campaign Issues Statement Against Statewide Anti-LGBT Right To Discriminate Laws

Sarah Scanlon, director of LGBTQ outreach for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, issued the following statement on Friday about state-based, legislative efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ people:

After the Supreme Court’s historic decision last year in favor of marriage equality and continued actions to decrease the marginalization of LGBTQ people across the country, we’re seeing major backlash from those who believe that discrimination should be legal in our country​. That is unacceptable.

​North Carolina’s H.B. 2, Mississippi’s H.B. 1523 and Missouri’s S.J.R. 39 are extreme and discriminatory. Every American deserves equal treatment under the law and every transgender person should be able to use the bathroom that matches their identity. The sole intent of these bills​, and those like them, is to allow people to discriminate against LGBTQ people. We stand in solidarity with all of the local LGBTQ advocates and their allies who have worked tirelessly against these measures. This country has made remarkable progress on LGBTQ rights in the fifty years since Stonewall, and we are not turning back now.

As mayor, Sen. Sanders was one of the first in America to sign a local anti-discrimination housing ordinance. Sexual orientation and gender identity should not be the basis for employment or housing decisions. As president, Sen. Sanders will work to ensure protections under our civil rights laws are extended to all LGBTQ people.

Hillary? Your court.

NOTE: Back2Stonewall.com at this point HAS NOT officially endorsed either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton to be the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign candidate at this time.

 

Mississippi Senate Passes Most Bigoted Anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” Law In The Country

Mississippi Senate Passes Most Bigoted Anti-LGBT  Law In The Country

 

On Wednesday the Mississippi Senate voted 31-17 to pass House Bill 1523, which protects people, businesses, and religious organizations that refuse to service LGBT people if doing so violates their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

Such “sincerely held” beliefs include the conviction that:

(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

The bill protects so many acts that it’s almost impossible to sum them up. Among them are religious organizations declining to perform a marriage; religious organizations refusing to hire, firing, or disciplining individuals for “violating” their religious beliefs; religious organizations choosing not to rent or sell property; religious organizations that provide foster care or adoptive services (including state-funded ones) declining service; any person or business choosing not to provide counseling or medical treatment; and any person or business refusing to provide wedding services such as photography, dress making, or floral arrangement.

In addition, under the bill any person or businesses can impose “sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming,” and can police bathroom use as they so choose. State employees who issue marriage licenses or any other service would also be able to deny their services and express their religious beliefs without consequence.

Furthermore, these protections extend even if the disagreement does not involve the government as a party. In other words, anybody can cite their religious beliefs to justify their discriminatory behavior if sued by the victims of that discrimination. When they do, they are entitled not only to victory in court, but compensatory damages as well.

Mississippi Republicans Senator Jennifer Branning in a speech to her colleagues that. “It takes no rights away from anyone. It gives protection to those in the state who cannot in a good conscience provide services for a same-sex marriage.”

But state Democrats argue that it does much more than that — they maintain that it’s overly broad and protects religious discrimination in too many settings. “They say it’s about same-sex marriage,” said Senator John Horhn. “If that’s the case, why does it include adoptions? The why does it allow discrimination in medical services? The reason we are so adamantly opposed to it is because we have already been there. We don’t need to put another stain on Mississippi.”

The bill passed the House 80-39 in February, but because it was amended slightly in the Senate, it will now return to the house for concurrence

Governor Phil Bryant. Bryant has said that he didn’t think the bill was discriminatory.

Missouri House to Vote On Anti-LGBT “License to Discriminate” Resolution This Week

Missouri Anti-Gay Bill goes to the House.

Despite the fact that seven Missouri Senate democrats filibustered for almost 36 hours to try block the state legislature from codifying an anti-gay discrimination into state law via Senate Joint Resolution 39 the Missouri House how vowed that it will take up the anti-LGBT “License to Discriminate” bill this week.

The amendment that would protect any religious organization and individuals who oppose same-sex marriage and would protect those who wish to discriminate from any government “penalty.” The state would be prohibited from altering the tax treatment of an organization or denying it any accreditation, license, or certification. One section specifically refers to withholding any benefit, custody award, foster home placement, or adoption, indicating protections specifically for child placement agencies that would refuse to serve same-sex families.

Under the legislation, a cake decorator or any retail store for example, could refuse, on religious grounds, to provide services to LGBT couples.

Sarah Rossi, director of advocacy and policy at the American Civil Liberties Union in Missouri, says the language in the bill goes even further, applying also to social service entities.

She says a homeless shelter with a religious affiliation could turn away a family in need.

“That homeless shelter can say, ‘We’re not going to let you, your wife and your children in here because it is against our religious beliefs that two women should be able to marry each other,'” Rossi explains. “And they can shut their doors on that couple and their family.”

SJR 39 is expected to be approved in the House. From there though it does not go to the Governor who has come out against the bill but will go to Missouri voters, either in the August primary or the November general election.

Netroots Nation the largest progressive political conference in America will be held in St. Louis in July. 

Back2Stonewall has reached out to NN for a statement.  Our email has not been answered.

 

 

Missouri Democrats Stand Up Against Hate, Filibuster Anti-Gay Religious Amendment

Jimmy Stewart Fillibuster Missouri anti-gay law

Missouri Senate democrats continue to filibuster to try to block the state legislature from codifying an anti-gay discrimination into state law via Senate Joint Resolution 39..  They have been speaking out against the bill since Monday afternoon.

The amendment that would protect any religious organization and individuals who oppose same-sex marriage and would protect those who wish to discriminate from any government “penalty.” The state would be prohibited from altering the tax treatment of an organization or denying it any accreditation, license, or certification. One section specifically refers to withholding any benefit, custody award, foster home placement, or adoption, indicating protections specifically for child placement agencies that would refuse to serve same-sex families.

· No penalty for a religious organization because it acts in accordance “with a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

· No penalty for any religious leader who declines to solemnize a marriage “because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

· No penalty on any church or other house of worship for refusing to make its buildings or facilities open to a marriage ceremony “because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

· No penalty for any individual “who declines either to be a participant in a marriage or wedding ceremony or to provide goods or services of expressional or artistic creation for such a marriage or ceremony… because of a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

Because it’s a constitutional amendment and not a statute, it would have to be approved by the voters of Missouri and once again would civil rights would be subject to a vote and much worse enshrine discrimination into the voting process

Democrat Maria Chappelle-Nadal said that she believes that they could filibuster for at least 24 hours, noting that they are already over two-thirds of the way there. “I can do this all day,” she said. “This is my prime time.” At that point, she and Sen. Jill Schupp (D) had been debating the measure by themselves for three hours.

At the time of this writing they are still going strong at 20 hours straight. Excuse the pun.

Salesforce CEO Will Pull Workers and Annual Convention From Georgia Over New Anti-LGBT Bill

Beninoff GA anti-gay

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is stepping up for the LGBT community once again.

Almost a year after Benioff  and his cloud-computing company led the charge to stop a proposed anti-gay law in Indiana to legalized discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom, Benioff says he is gearing up for a fresh fight against a similar bill in Georgia. 

“Nobody wants a discrimination law in America today,” Benioff. But there are still bigots out there fighting for people to be discriminated against.” 

Salesforce only has about 1,000 workers in Georgia, but in May it is scheduled to host its annual Connections conference in Atlanta. The event draws about 15,000 Salesforce clients each year for three days. On Friday, Benioff posted a poll on Twitter, asking if he should change the event’s location if the FADA bill becomes law. This morning, 80 percent of the roughly 5,800 voters supported the move. 

“We will bring economic consequences,” Benioff told the Huffington Post. “We will deliver a rolling thunder of economic sanctions against the state, in this case Georgia, which is waging a war against LGBT people.” 

Benioff plans to bring other corporations into the battle also and has already contacted the chief executives of Home Depot, Coca-Cola, email marketing service MailChimp and shipping giant UPS about the issue all of which are headquartered in the state.

Georgia state Sen. Joshua McKoon (R), sent out a barrage of tweets on Friday afternoon criticizing Benioff for threatening to pull out of his state while continuing to do business in India and Singapore stating: “To threaten this economic extortion to influence the public policy process is not only incredibly wrong, but hypocritical. It’s unbelievably hypocritical for someone who I’m not convinced has even read the legislation that’s under consideration here to make the suggestion that businesses should leave the state because he has some interpretation that this is in some way anti-gay.” 

Last year Georgia also had 248 film and television productions shot in Georgia including  the AMC blockbuster “The Walking Dead” on AMC; “Rectify” on Sundance. 

The industry represents $1.7 billion in spending in the state.

Source:  The Huffington Post

 

McKoon anti-gay

 

Indiana Prepares Anti-gay “Right To Discriminate Law”. Who Is Going To Fight Against It?

Gay discrimination

 

A law soon to be introduced in Indiana by Sen. Scott Schneider (R) would borrow and manipulate language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that was originally designed to prohibit the government from burdening the religious beliefs of otthes to an anti-gay discrimination law would allow a business owner to use their religious beliefs to justify refusing service to LGBT individuals. .This state law, would supersede any local municipal nondiscrimination laws that are currently in effect in that state to protect LGBT people.

Those involved in the writing and support of this law are so shameless that they are not even trying to hide their bigotry and willfully admit that the law is specifically being written to discriminate against the gay community.

Via: Think Progress

Micah Clark of the American Family Association explained to The Indianapolis Star that the bill would allow small businesses to refuse services to LGBT individuals and also that it would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples. The Indiana Family Institute made an end-of-year fundraising pitch that promoted the legislation, noting examples of small businesses who were facing discrimination complaints from same-sex couples. Schneider claims, however, that the bill will not discriminate against anyone, but would simply “protect freedom and protect religious liberty.”

These laws are very dangerous and unless we fight against them using everything in our power they set a precedent of discrimination that hearkens back to the Jim Crow laws.  So while HRC is making hokey commercials down South in Chad Griffin’s birth state of Arkansas.  Who is going to help fight this type of discrimination in the Midwest?

Bueller?

Anybody?

The Country of Nepal Drafts New Laws To Re-criminalize Gay Sex Funded By The U.N. Developement Program

WTF

 

The country of Nepal whose Supreme Court ruled in 2007 to ensure broad protections for LGBT people and whose government was revently looking into legalizing same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court decision in 2008. Now 7 year later Justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact laws to re criminalize gay sex and make it punishable by 3 years in prison an even stricter punishment as the old law.  And to make matters even worse the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) actually funded the original two committees that drafted the new anti-gay laws codes but didn’t monuitor them!

Sunil Pant, the country’s first openly gay politician and former member of parliament, told Gay Star News in an email:

‘We are really concerned about this attempt of taking Nepal back to draconian era after so much progress we made. Unbelievable that the government is going all against the Supreme Court decisions on LGBTI rights and other minority and marginalized people’s rights in Nepal,’ he said.

Pant also demands to know why the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights worldwide, had provided funding for the original two committees that drafted the anti-gay codes but did not monitor their outcome.

‘Irony is that UNDP funded the original two committees to draft these codes and they said they did not have the clue what was being drafted. At least they should have been more vigilant whether their aid is being abused, misused or used properly.’

Discrimination and hate crimes brought to you by the United Nations.  Useless idiots.

Eurovision To Russia: Protect Your LGBT Citizens Or You’ll Never Host The Contest Again

Eurovision Gay Kiss

Showing more integrity and courage than the International Olympic Committee could ever hope for.  The Eurovision Song Contest has threatened to ban Russia from ever hosting another contest over its anti-gay propaganda laws.

Eurovision organizers have demanded they outline guarantees regarding creative freedom of the acts, and the safety of organizers and fans.

Speaking to Gay Star News, a Eurovision spokesman said: ‘As always with any hosting country, we ask for guarantees for security of all the people involved in the Eurovision Song Contest. ‘If Russia wins in the foreseeable future, and they tell us they cannot guarantee the safety of organizers or spectators, we will take action. It is one of the conditions of hosting Eurovision. The safety of our organizers, acts and spectators is our number one priority.’ If they fail to guarantee no gay person would be arrested under the homophobic legislation, like they have failed to do so at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, then they will be banned from hosting the contest.

Already the country of Sweden has said that they will withdraw if Eurovision is ever held in Russia while its anti-gay LGBT laws are still on its books.

Last years Eurovision Contest held i n Sweden  brought in 1.1 billion Swedish kronor ($177m, €132m) in advertising value alone.

Olympic Torch Run In Greece Met With Protests Over Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws

 

Grrce Olympic Protest

On Saturday afternoon, as the flame moved from the Acropolis, in Greece where it had stayed overnight, to a cauldron inside the courtyard of the Acropolis Museum, Dozens of rights activists gathered on the museum’s steps in a peaceful protest. Some held rainbow flags, while others held a banner reading “Homophobia is not in the Olympic Spirit” and “Love is not Propaganda.”

Another banner mentioned “Putin’s victims” allegedly beaten, raped or murdered for being gay.

“The Olympics should have taken a stand against this law in Russia because the Olympic ideals are for supporting human rights and diversity and that’s not what’s happening in Russia,” said protester Zak Kostopoulos.

After a seven-day run through Greece, the flame will cover 40,000 miles on Russian soil. The record-setting relay will start on Monday in Moscow, in a ceremony attended by Russia President Vladimir Putin, and will finish in Sochi on Feb. 7, the opening day of the games.

Is it too much to hope that one of the torch bearers might be gay and have an opportunity to shove it straight up Vladimir Putin’s ass?