Trending News

Russian anti-gay laws impact Olympics, vodka sales

Written by DAVID CRARY
and LISA LEFF,
AP writers
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 12:10

Russian vodka and the Winter Olympics in Sochi. For now, those are the prime targets as gays in the United States and elsewhere propose boycotts and other tactics to convey their outrage over Russia’s intensifying campaign against gay-rights activism.

At many gay bars across North America, owners have joined a campaign to stop selling Russian vodka – notably the popular brand Stolichnaya. Activists also are pressing the International Olympic Committee and NBC, which holds U.S. broadcasting rights for Sochi, to be more aggressive in criticizing new Russian laws.

Mexican state approves civil unions

Written by The AP Wednesday, 31 July 2013 04:24

Lawmakers in Mexico's western state of Colima have approved a change in the state's constitution that legalizes same-sex civil unions.

Colima state spokeswoman Cecilia Ramirez says the legislature approved the constitutional change late on July 29 after seven of the state's 10 municipalities approved the reform.

Illinois' largest gay civil rights group is asking Chicago officials to suspend the sister city relationship with Moscow to protest Russia's persecution and prosecution of LGBT citizens and tourists.

The call was issued by Equality Illinois as activists around the country explore boycotts of Russian products, especially vodka, and upcoming Russian events, particularly the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Lesbian couple to marry at Mall of America chapel

Written by The AP Monday, 29 July 2013 14:13

The Chapel of Love at the Mall of America will perform its first same-sex wedding the minute gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota.

A same-sex couple is scheduled to be wed at the chapel at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Colleagues detained and released in death of gay activist in Cameroon

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 31 July 2013 04:38

Police in Cameroon held two employees of a human rights organization for three days in connection with the killing of a prominent gay rights activist, their lawyer said, sparking criticism over how the investigation is being handled.

The two employees, Michel Engama and Cedric Mbarga, were released on July 30 without charge, said Michel Togue, a member of the legal team representing them as well as the family of the slain activist, Eric Ohena Lembembe.

Santa Fe commission calls for marriage equality in New Mexico

Written by WiG Wednesday, 31 July 2013 04:11

The Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners on July 30 approved a resolution calling for marriage equality in New Mexico.

The measure calls on the governing bodies of New Mexico to "rid the State of the antiquated statutes that restrict the rights of same sex couples to wed," and it passed with a majority vote of 4-1.

Iowa stalls in issuing birth certificates naming both lesbian spouses

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 30 July 2013 05:29

Iowa's largest LGBT civil rights group group is accusing the state Department of Public Health of needlessly delaying listing both partners in lesbian couples on their children's birth certificates, despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that it must do so.

The group One Iowa told the Des Moines Register that married lesbian couples are being directed to follow an affidavit process and provide certified copies of their marriage license before obtaining a birth certificate naming both parents –a process opposite-sex couples do not have to go through.

A petition launched on Change.org calls for a companies involved in sponsorship at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to condemn Russia's anti-gay law, which provides for the arrest of people who promote homosexuality and same-sex relationships to minors. 

Already more than 50,000 people have signed the petition, which urges Olympic sponsors, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa to condemn "to take a firm stand and condemn Russia's recently passed legislation that bans the promotion of gay rights in public under the threat of jail time and heavy fines."

Pennsylvania sues to stop county from issuing marriage licenses to gays

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 31 July 2013 04:26

State officials asked a court to stop a rogue county from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on July 30, nearly a week after a clerk began granting them in violation of Pennsylvania law.

The petition filed by the Pennsylvania Health Department alleges that D. Bruce Hanes, the register of wills in Montgomery County, "repeatedly and continuously" flouted the law. As of July 30, Hanes' office had granted 34 licenses and registered six same-sex marriages.

Military judge finds Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:07

UPDATE: Military judge finds Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy.

A U.S. military judge issued a verdict today in the case of gay Army soldier Bradley Manning, who was facing life in prison for giving thousands of pieces of classified military and diplomatic information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in one of the largest leaks in American history.

Louisiana sheriff's office arrests gay men under invalidated sodomy law

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 30 July 2013 04:11

An East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office task force has arrested at least 12 men since 2011 under a sodomy law invalidated in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A July 18 arrest was the most recent for a man who merely discussed or agreed to have sex with a male undercover agent, The Advocate newspaper reported.

Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priests

Written by WiG Monday, 29 July 2013 07:56

Pope Francis, returning to Rome from a hugely popular trip to Brazil, said this morning that he won't judge gay priests.

The Associated Press said the pope went before reporters for a 22-minute news conference at the Vatican. On the issue of priests who are gay, Pope Francis said, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"