LGBTI advocacy group publishes guidelines for firms to support transgender staff

‘There are great disparities in workplace equality that disproportionately affect the transgender community,’ said Out & Equal Founder and CEO Selisse Berry in the forward to the guide.

‘The Workplace Gender Identity and Transition Guidelines emerged from overwhelming requests from our corporate partners asking how to best support their transgender and gender-diverse employees.

‘Fortune 1000 companies reached out to us wanting to fully understand how to best support their transgender employees and coworkers.’

‘I am proud of the guidelines we’re presenting and confident that they will foster more inclusive policies and more welcoming workplaces for everyone in the LGBT community.’

‘This a brilliant and very welcomed initiative by Out & Equal,’ she told Gay Star Business.

‘Too many organizations exclude transgendered employees in their polices and guidelines. I’m really pleased that this new guide covers non-binary employees as well as those who wish to transition. This is essential reading for all employers.’

Its annual Workplace Summit is expected to attract 3,000 attendants to the Hilton Antole Hotel in Dallas. Speakers including the openly gay Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker; former NBA player Jason Collins; and Frank Bagiano, Chairman of First Data Corporation.

 

 

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Sir Elton John and Vladimir Putin planning to fix a date to discuss LGBT rights

LGBT rights will be discussed by Sir Elton John and Vladimir Putin in an open dialogue.

Sir Elton John fell victim to a hoax earlier this year after he asked Putin, despite his large fallowing in Russia.

After he was subjected to a hoax call from a fake Putin, the real Putin got in touch to discuss LGBT rights – and offered to meet with the singer in future.

Sir Elton said: “I’ve talked to him on the telephone – we’re trying to arrange a date when I can go to Moscow and talk to him.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin had to go above and beyond to convince Sir Elton that the real Putin did want to talk,  after the hoax call.

He said: “At first [Sir Elton John] hesitated.

“We decided to ask Russian Ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko to get in touch with the musician and tell him about the phone call.

“In the beginning, Yakovenko had certain problems to explain to the musician that he was really the Russian ambassador and that the real president of Russia wanted to talk to him.”

Sir Elton added: “I feel very honoured that he wants to see me and he’s put the olive branch out and it’s essential that I do go over there and just put my foot in the water and see what we can do change the situation for LGBT people in Russia.

“Even though the Russians say it’s great it is very very, it’s not great at all. But you know, as I said, I want to try and knock the wall down a little bit, so I will be trying to go and see him.

“He was very pleasant on the phone, he apologised for the fake interview I did. He was very genial and I was very very impressed.”

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LGBT in Uganda Put Faith in Pope Francis

Gay activists are hoping Pope Francis will preach tolerance toward homosexuals, and even go so far as to condemn violent attacks against gays during his upcoming visit to Uganda. Church leaders, however, are praying he’ll avoid the issue altogether.

 

In Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and where attacks against gays have forced many to seek refuge abroad or lead secret lives at home, gay leaders nevertheless hope Francis will weigh in with a firm message of tolerance.

 

Frank Mugisha, a prominent gay leader, said: “ “I see this particular pope as more progressive, but I wouldn’t call him an ally like [US President Barack] Obama. I would like to see his position very clearly because what he said came as a by-the-way when he said he can’t judge.”

 

Archbishop John Baptist Odama stated: “I doubt that Pope Francis will talk about homosexuals. There is a clear teaching of the church on homosexuality. Because the aim of it is not to promote life, but to act against it, those with that tendency are called to abstinence.”

 

Frank Mugisha, the gay activist, believes a message of compassion from Francis might challenge local church leaders to be less hostile toward those who are openly gay.

 

He said: “We want a position that is very clear from the Vatican that says, ‘Do not discriminate, do not harm homosexuals,’ a message of tolerance.”

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Drama Teacher Delivers The Best Response To Homophobic Mother

A drama teacher from Kidderminster, England, Michael Neri (26), recently received a text from a mother who feels he shouldn’t teach children because he’s gay.

 

The teacher was pretty devastated after learning that two of his students would no longer be attending his drama classes.

 

His students’ parents sent him a text to say that after they “learned of his lifestyle” they no longer wanted their children to attend class because they might be influenced by his “unconventional ideas”.

 

The photograph was shared on Facebook by Regan Shepherd on 17 November, it has since been uploaded to Imgur and has been viewed more than 50,000 times.

 

The mother sent him a message that reads:

 

“Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that [child] and [child] will not be attending class on Monday. You have a strong reputation for performing arts which encouraged me to sign my children up for classes.I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas. It is our belief that a man should marry a woman. I look forward to receiving my deposit which you may post to me via check.”

 

And Neri gave her just the perfect response:

 

“I would be lying if I said I was disappointed to hear this. I pride my students on the respect and love they have for others and their passion for equality. You would only be infringing on our family. As far as I’m aware, my sexuality doesn’t affect my ability to teach, just like it wouldn’t affect a doctor’s ability to treat one of your children should they become unwell. I’m sure your children’s health would come first should they need emergency treatment, or would you need to check their doctor’s lifestyle prior to their life-saving operation?

“I wish you luck in finding an appropriate stage school that meets your needs, however from experience I find that theatre without gays is like cooking without spices.”

He added:

 

“I hear StageCoach are enrolling but their teachers have been known to wear mixed fabrics which I’m sure you are aware is forbidden in the Bible (Leviticus 19:19). Please feel free to come see our musical ‘Happy Days’, confetti will be used in the finale but please rest assured this is not an attempt to corrupt your Christian lifestyle. We just love glitter

“Unfortunately deposits are non refundable but don’t worry, your deposit has been donated to Stonewall, an LGBT charity.

“Regards, Michael.”

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Ukraine ‘to lose out’ on EU travel agreement after blocking LGBT rights law

 

A protester holds the flags of Ukraine, bearing the country’s coat of arms, and the European Union in front of a rainbow flag, as members and supporters of the LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender) community take part in a May Day rally in Saint Petersburg on May 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Shortly after the Ukrainian Parliament blocked a law protecting LGBT people from discrimination they were set to lose out on a visa-free travel agreement with the EU.

Ukraine is divided two groups, those who want better relations with Europe and those who want closer ties with Russia. Ukraine applied to join European Schengen zone earlier this year.

With 26 countries permitting visa-free travel for citizens and abolishing the need for passports across European borders, the Schengen zone aims to bolster free trade across Europe.

EU has consistently maintained that Ukraine must legally ban discrimination against LGBT people before joining

This week the plan for Ukraine to join suffered a setback, when its Parliament overwhelmingly voted to block the LGBT rights changes required.

Out of 450 in the Parliament only 117 voted for the changes.

It comes after the head of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, told that Ukrainian citizens would not be granted a visa-free access deal without judiciary and human rights reforms.

With the capital Kyiv’s Pride often subject to brutal attacks from homophobes, clashes between far-right groups and gay rights protesters are common.

Two policemen were reportedly wounded in an exchange with the violent mob earlier this year

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Obama: First Ever President to Appear on Cover of Gay-Rights Magazine

Barack Obama is the first sitting president to sit for a portrait by an LGBT magazine, according to the editors of Out magazine, which describes itself as “the world’s leading gay fashion and lifestyle brand,” and is featuring the nation’s 44th chief executive as Ally of the Year.

 

The cover of the 2015 Out100 issue features a black-and-white close-up of the president looking straight into the camera with a Mona Lisa almost-smile. He was photographed by Ryan Pfluger.

 

Out editors said their selection of Obama for the cover represents “a statement on how much his administration has done to advance a singularly volatile issue that tarnished the reputations of both President Clinton and President Bush.”

 

In an interview with Out reporter Aaron Hicklin, Obama reflected on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, saying that the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges had not come as a surprise to him, considering the “remarkable attitude shift — in hearts and minds — across America.” Hicklin wrote.

 

“When he was sworn in on January 20, 2009, there were two states where same-sex marriage was legal. Today it is a right nationwide. Many share credit for what has transpired, but there’s no question that without the active engagement of the 44th president of the United States, who has made securing the rights of LGBT Americans a fundamental part of his legacy, we’d still be working to fulfill that dream.”

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Tom Hardy snaps at reporter who asks if he’s gay

Given that one of the characters Hardy portrays is gay, Graeme Coleman, a reporter from an LGBT publication Daily Xtra asked Hardy about his own sexuality. at a press conference at Toronto International Film Festival.

“In the film, your character Ronnie is very open about his sexuality,” asked Coleman. “But given interviews you’ve done in the past, your own sexuality seems a bit more ambiguous. Do you find it hard for celebrities to talk to media about their sexuality?”.

Anyway, the press conference exchange pretty much goes downhill from there.

“But what is your question?”

“I was wondering if you find it difficult for celebrities to talk about their sexuality.”

“I don’t find it difficult for celebrities to talk about their sexuality. Are you asking me about my sexuality?”

“Sure.”

“Why?”

“Um.”

“Thank you.”

So, there you go. The days of Tom Hardy talking about his sexuality are apparently over.

Tom Hardy is currently promoting Legend, which includes his ambitious portrayal of both Ronnie and Reggie Kray, aka the twins who ran much of London’s criminal underworld in the ’60s.

 

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Trans men respond to Houston’s anti-LGBTI law in the best way possible

‘Revenge of the trans men’ may sound like offensive , ‘50’s B-movie , but in Houston, Texas, it is the campaign proving that idiotic decisions have consequences.

Houston voted to do away with its anti-discrimination HERO equality ordinance, less than 24 hours after that , the call has gone out to trans men across the United States to launch a big invasion of public female bathrooms in Houston with reporters in tow.

After the right of trans people to use the restroom of their expressed gender was rejected, it seems like that trans men now have an legal right to be in the ladies’ room – at least in Houston, Texas.

Local law enforcement is likely to have a severe headache when dealing with those who have opted for an especially masculine style of self-presentation.

For the next three years , college football title games won’t be hosted by Houston they missed out the chance , it is not possible to determine whether this is a direct consequence of Houston’s decision to rid itself of anti-discrimination legislation.

However, the awarding body – the College Football Playoffs Administration – would have known in advance that there was a strong chance that Houston would legalize discrimination.

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This Ugandan presidential candidate promises to build ‘correction centers’ for gay people

Abed Bwanika Ugandan presidential candidate said that he wants every gay person’s ‘demon’ to be ‘chased out’.

Yesterday Bwanika said to a youth-dominated audience in Kampala, that he will set up ‘correction centres’ for gay people if he become president.

‘Uganda is no area for homosexuality,’ he said.

‘We cannot accept to be pushed into homosexuality by the west. All homosexuals will be rehabilitated because they have demons and we have specialists to chase out demons’.

Bwanika ‘promise’ is in stark contrast to his opponent Amama Mbazazi who was the first presidential candidate in Uganda to back gay rights. He said that homosexuality was not threat to the country and that he was ‘opposed to homophobia’.

Yoweri Museveni, current president, already signed few anti-LGBT measures into law, Both Bwanika and Mbazazai are running against him.

‘It is a deliberate poor judgement on his side to claim that LGBT people are demonic and can be rehabilitated,’ said Edwin Sesange, director of African LGBT organization Out and Proud Diamond Group.

‘We request him to base his political campaign on facts not propaganda. Uganda as a nation has many issues that need to addressed during this presidential campaigns like poverty,  health care, education sector, unemployment among others.’

 

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Donald Trump will speak at Values Voter Summit, organized by hateful anti-gay group

Donald Trump recently tried a lot to appear more “gay friendly” to the public, now he will join and speak at a summit for a hateful anti-gay organization, alongside Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

 

The frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination will appear this weekend at Values Voter Summit, the event organized by the Family Research Council.

 

Seven of the Republican Presidential candidates will also speak at the Summit, despite the fact that the group is labeled as an active anti-gay hate organization, by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 

SPLC reported that they recognize the Family Research Council as hateful homophobic group, because of their merciless opposition against LGBT rights.

 

The Family Research Council’s President, Tony Perkins, has been known in the past for negative attitude against LGBT people, when he repeatedly made comparisons between gay rights and the Holocaust.

 

He was furious and called for God to strike down President Barack Obama for using rainbow lights to light up the White House, and even blamed gay people in the military for higher suicide rates in the armed forces.

 

Trump has done noticeable attempts to shift on gay rights in past few months, stating opposition to same-sex marriage is a “dead issue”, and gave support for LGBT employment rights.

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