Saturday, July 02, 2016

NEWS: UN Makes LGBT History; George Takei; Not Everyone Feels Welcomed at Pride; Gays For and Against Guns; What To Do With Bill Clinton?

United Nations Makes History on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
In a defining vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council has mandated the appointment of an Independent Expert on the “protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity”. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today. This resolution builds upon two previous resolutions, adopted by the Council in 2011 and 2014. The resolution was narrowly won by a vote of 23 in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions. READ MORE

How Coming Out As A Gay Man Thrust Star Trek's George Takei Into The Cultural Landscape
With a standing ovation and his famously charming, “Oh my!”, actor and LGBT rights activist George Takei took to the stage of the Ryerson Theatre on June 26, 2016, as part of Pride Toronto’s queer icon series. While Takei is revered for his role as Ensign Sulu from the original Star Trek series, his fame has grown tenfold since he came out and became an activist, largely using the power of social media to share his messages of love and acceptance. Takei began his talk by praising Canada for embracing same-sex marriage in 2005, helping to pave the way for the US’ decision on equal marriage in 2015. As a teenager, Takei became involved in political and other forms of activism after being inspired by his father’s outlook on democracy. Though he participated in local politics, activism and the civil rights movement, Takei acknowledged that he was silent for a very long time about the most important issue to him, his sexual identity. The turning point for Takei came when then governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a same-sex marriage bill in the early 2000s. Unable to hold his silence any longer, and with the constant support of his husband, Brad, Takei took the opportunity to come out and publicly condemn Schwarzenegger. And with that, the next stage of Takei’s activism was born. READ MORE

New Survey Says One Third of LGBT Women Feel Unwelcome at Pride Events
In the wake of the shooting at Pulse and the recent wave of bathroom laws and bills that discriminate against transgender people, the LGBTQ community needs Pride now more than ever. Unfortunately, the dating app Her found some disappointing statistics about how GLBT women feel about Pride festivities. Of the 3003 LGBTQ American women who responded to Her’s survey on June 9th, over a third said they didn’t feel welcomed and/or well-represented at Pride. The number of respondents who felt welcomed and/or well-represented was even lower for queer and bisexual women, at 47% and 57% respectively. READ MORE

Loretta E. Lynch, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton’s Meeting With Attorney General Loretta Lynch Causes Stir in Both Parties
It is well documented that Bill Clinton has a propensity for being social when he sees someone he knows in public. But his decision to walk over to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch for a chat at the Phoenix airport on Monday spurred a firestorm of Republican criticism. The meeting was not preplanned, and Ms. Lynch told reporters that nothing sensitive was discussed. But as attorney general, Ms. Lynch oversees the Justice Department, which oversees the F.B.I., which is looking into the circumstances around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. The conversation lasted roughly 20 minutes, and Ms. Lynch’s husband was present for it. But Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, pounced on the news in a radio interview on Thursday. READ MORE

LGBT Gun Advocacy Group Pink Pistols See Increase In New Members Since The Pulse Nightclub Massacre
Lesbian activist Gwendolyn Patton, national leader of the LGBT gun advocacy group Pink Pistols, says she was heartbroken when she learned that 49 mostly LGBT people were shot to death on June 12 at an Orlando gay nightclub by Omar Mateen. Patton, 54, said the horrific incident at the Pulse nightclub conjured up memories of gay-bashing incidents the LGBT community has grappled with for years and reminded her that the mission of Pink Pistols goes beyond just training LGBT people to use guns for self-defense. “We have an even more poetic vision,” she told the Washington Blade in an interview this week. “We teach queers to shoot and we teach the world we did it,” she said with an emphasis. “The idea is that if the general public becomes aware that there is a portion of the GLBT community that may be armed with a lawfully owned firearm and have the training and the skills necessary to use it effectively, this is a deterrent to make those that would attack us think twice,” she said. “They’re choosing the gay community because they think that we’re a safe target to attack, that we’re not going to fight back. The whole stereotype about the GLBT community is that we’re weaker, we’re passive, we’re pacifists, we’re unwilling to fight,” she said. “It’s the whole stereotype of gay men as being weak and effeminate.” READ MORE

Watch: Gays Against Guns - Orlando Memorial Marchers NYC Pride 2016

"Queer complacency is over. We call for a ban on assault weapons and sensible gun regulation. We will not let our 49 siblings' death be in vain." 
You can visit 'Gays Against Guns' official site HERE or visit 'Gays Against Guns' Facebook Page HERE