Yesterday, the Senate voted to take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to ban employers from discriminating against LGBTQ workers or job applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. being transgender).
This is the first time ever that ENDA, which has struggled in Congress for almost 20 years, includes protections for trans folks. Workers are already protected by federal law from discrimination based on race, gender, religion and age.
The Senate is expected to vote on ENDA this week with bipartisan support. However, it still must work its way through the House of Representatives and faces some Republican opposition. Here are five things to know about this very important bill! Keep reading »
“We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation…”
Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted that gay participants and attendees of the upcoming 2014 Olympic festivities in Sochi will be welcome. Given Russia’s harsh anti-gay laws and the backlash they’ve been receiving, that’s hard to imagine, but here’s hoping he keeps his word. Russia has received international criticism for its criminalization of homosexuality, and that’s making for a tense lead-up to the Olympics. [TIME] [Image via WENN]
I didn’t expect a can-usually-be-counted-on-for-fluff article about marriage in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times to be so damn depressing. But I suppose that’s a conclusion to be expected when one starts wondering, what’s the point of it all? Keep reading »
“I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting. … It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. … I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone. … The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia. … If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues.”
My gay BF Johnny Weir isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself. That includes defending himself from criticism that he should boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, instead of covering figure skating for NBC as an openly gay man married to another man (who is Russian!). Russia is a notoriously anti-gay country, brutally abusing gays and lesbians and recently criminalizing homosexuality. But Weir, who has had Russian coaches and traveled to the country many times, said it is possible to support gay rights without choosing to exclude yourself from something you love. What do y’all think? [New York Times] [Image via Splash News]
Idaho won’t screen the film that took the top prize in Cannes this year, because SEX.
“Blue Is The Warmest Color,” a French film starring Lea Seydoux about teenaged lesbians, won this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes. But the film Cannes-not (see what I did there?) play at the Idaho state’s only arthouse movie theater in Boise due to its NC-17 rating. The theater’s liquor license prohibits the theater from screening movies which — to quote directly from the Idaho state code — contain:
“[A]cts or simulated acts of sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation or any sexual acts which are prohibited by law … [and ]any person being touched, caressed or fondled on the breast, buttocks, anus or genitals.” Keep reading »
“Well, get this. This girl from Jersey City has a knife in her boot. I pulled it out and said, ‘I’ll cut your dick off.’ You know what he did? He laughed at me.”
“Lost”‘s Michelle Rodriguez opened up to Entertainment Weekly about when she was 22 and a producer “pinned her against the wall and grabbed her between the legs.” Sadly, this kind of sexual abuse — particularly in the form of ‘casting couch’ perviness — is all too common for women in Hollywood. But after pulling a knife on him, that producer never bothered Rodriguez again.
Rodriguez also revealed for the first time publicly that she’s bisexual: Keep reading »
This has been a bad, bad week for Italian public relations. On the heels of Melissa Gorga’s horrifying claims in her book, Love Italian Style, that emotional abuse and marital rape = “just being Italian LOL!”, Guido Barilla, the chairman of Barilla Pasta, went on the record yesterday in an Italian newspaper with some good ol’ fashioned homophobia:
“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.”
Just FYI, Barilla, that does bother a lot of people. It bothers me enough that I will not be purchasing your brand of pasta again, and thousands of other people have had the same response: a massive boycott is currently being organized by politicians and LGBT activists in Italy and around the globe. The president of Equality Italia summed it up just perfectly: “We accept [Barilla's] invitation to not eat his pasta.” I hope De Cecco is ready for an influx of new customers who don’t appreciate anti-gay undertones in their fusilli. [Buzzfeed]