Tag Archives: america

Trump Administration Delete LGBT, Climate Change Issues From New White House Website

Day 1 and it begins!!!

Back in December, Trump reportedly gave “assurances” that he will take action to undermine laws that are seen as protecting the rights of gay people in the US.

Sadly almost all of Trump’s cabinet, including his Vice President Mike Pence, share anti-LGBT views.

Under Obamas leadership marriage equality became a reality in all 50 States, the US army set out to lift the ban on transgender service personnel, and in 2014 he issued an executive order banning LGBT discrimination by Federal contractors across the board.

Unfortunately, that looks like it could be set to change.

As the old administration departs the White House, change is underway.

Trump’s new staff have begun to take over offices, Twitter accounts and the White House’s official website.

It’s on this website that a certain page has been deleted.

The whitehouse.gov site, which previously featured a page on Obama and his relationship with the progress of the LGBT community, now shows up with a “page not found” message under whitehouse.gov/lgbt.

This is a worrying sign for America’s LGBT community, and the change hasn’t gone unnoticed.


The Department of Labor’s page also no longer includes a page on Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights. Pages for civil rights, climate change, and National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and the White House Counsel on Women and Girls have also been removed

LGBT America In Numbers

The most recent Gallup research showed that Americans are more likely to say that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender than they used to. In total, almost 3.5% of American adults (or 8.3 million people) identified with one of these categories in 2012, a number which has in 2016 increased to 4.1% that translates to 10.052 million people.

The analysis has been based on research that has lasted over five years and was performed on more than 1.6 million adults in the United States of America. It is more likely that the numbers don’t necessarily indicate an increase in the actual number of LGBT people living in the US, rather than an increase in the people who feel comfortable opening up about their sexuality or gender identity.

Among interviewed adults in the research, younger generations are more likely to identify as LGBT. Gallup shows that 7.3% of millennials (born 1980-1998) identified as LGBT in 2016, while in 2012 the percentage was 5.8. As for Generation X (born 1965-1979) the percentage has stayed the same (3.2), and for Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) and Traditionalists (1913-1945) the number has decreased from 2012 (2.7 to 2.4 for Baby boomers and 1.8 to 1.4 for Traditionalists).

When it comes to other identity intersections, the results are as following: people are just as likely to identify as LGBT whatever their gender, racial group, income group or educational level may be. The social groups that weren’t as likely to identify as LGBT were the moderately and highly religious Americans.

In some sense, this poll may indicate some sort of progress, since more young people are comfortable enough to claim an identity of the LGBT umbrella for themselves. The fact that younger people are more likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, makes sense in terms of them being the generation who supports LGBT rights the most.

When it comes to same sex marriage, here are some more numbers that indicate what public opinion in America could be shaped like: according to Gallup, it seems like the majority of American adults supports same sex marriage: a 60% of the interviewed population in 2015 that has increased from a 27% in 1996.

The higher level of support is also expressed by the younger generations. People of ages 18-29 who support same-sex marriage have doubled from 1996 to 2014 (from 40% to about 80%) and so have ages 30-49 (from 30% to 55%). The increase in older generations seems even bigger, considering that a considerably smaller percentage of people 50+ (15% and lower) supported same-sex marriage in 1996, numbers that have now exceeded 40%.

An analysis carried out in April 2015 from the Williams Institute, a think tank that focuses on LGBTQ issues, showed that support for same-sex marriage was rising in all the states of America, but more rapidly in states that had legalized same-sex marriage, which shows that laws supporting fundamental human rights that are enforced without society even being seemingly in their favour may actually influence it in positive ways.

On another research, Vox and Morning Consult worked together to figure out the general position of American adults towards trans people, their rights and the laws that concern them, through a series of questions, that were asked to 2.000 registered voters.

The results were mixed and unfortunately not promising. There still seems to be a lot of discrimination against trans identities in the US. The plurality of US adults seem to be supportive of laws against discrimination faced by trans people but the population is still divided on whether trans people should use freely bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

People who answered were divided almost in halves, with 42% said that public facilities should be required to allow students to use the bathroom for their “self-described gender,” while 39% were opposed to that choice. Democrats and younger generations were more likely to support trans people’s rights.

It still remains difficult to know exactly what these numbers are representing, since about 1 in 10 to 1 in 5 voters answered the research questions with “don’t know” or “no opinion”. According to Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport:

I think that at this point, I would be most likely to say that the American public has not formed firm opinions on the new issue of policies or laws surrounding transgender individuals’ use of bathroom facilities and that the public is — to a degree — open to argument on either side. Plus, the available evidence does not consistently support the conclusion that Americans favor laws or policies allowing open access to bathrooms based on an individual’s claimed gender identity.”

Kesha Makes An Emotional Plea For American Voters To Protect LGBT Rights (Video)

In the latest episode of Vevo’s Why I Vote series, Kesha explains reflects on bullies, struggling with sexuality and how her passion for gender equality motivates her to vote.

In this election especially, I feel like you’re choosing between someone who is promising to build walls and someone who is hopeful. If those are my two options, I definitely wanna go with hope.”


Through her video, Kesha takes us from the childhood hardships of questioning her own sexuality to the recent privilege she had in officiating the same-sex weddings of two dear friends.

She also visits the Los Angeles LGBT centre in support of safe havens, and actively encouraging voters to use their power everywhere, but especially in states like North Carolina, which has recently passed laws discriminating against the LGBT community.

We as a country do not need to step backwards. We need to protect the groundbreaking laws that have been stepping in the correct direction.”


Kesha’s support of LGBT rights has been a lifelong passion, and as she put it in her own words, she is part of the fight.

Using your voice and your truth and standing up and talking about what you believe in and voting is your power. You need to utilize that.”

Vevo’s Why I Vote campaign aims to give artists a chance to share personal opinions on the key issues shaping the 2016 Presidential Election.

Previous episode focused on immigration, mass incarceration, and education opportunities.

Discrimination Against LGBT Employees is Illegal in America

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has decided this week that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal by existing laws.

The landmark ruling could now extend to new rights for LGBT Americans.

The decision was rooted in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans employment discrimination “based on race, colour, religion, sex and national origin.”

Before now, courts have generally held that sexual orientation is not protected by this clause because the term is not explicitly listed and interpreting it as such was not the intention of the legislators behind the law.

But in its 3-2 vote ruling, the commission reasons that any employment decision based on someone’s sexual orientation must also inherently take into account his or her gender, pushing the question under the umbrella of the law’s language.

The decision reads

For example, assume that an employer suspends a female employee for displaying a photo of her female spouse on her desk, but does not suspend a male employee for displaying a photo of his female spouse.

‘Sexual orientation’ as a concept cannot be defined or understood without reference to sex.”

The case in question was a complaint filed against transportation secretary Anthony Foxx in which a Florida air traffic controller alleges he was passed over for a job because he is gay.

The ruling is not definitive until it is solidified by legislation or a Supreme Court decision, but it does carry significant weight in courts across the country.

The decision claimed that earlier circuit court rulings on the matter have been grounded in “dated” precedents without any additional analysis. More recent legal precedents in the same courts, the commission goes on, have recognised that

gender stereotyping — which includes anti-gay remarks — is considered sex discrimination.

As Time points out, this is the same logic that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used when considering same-sex marriage earlier this year before ultimately opposing it.

Justice John Roberts said in April,

If Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?”

In 2012, the commission ruled in a similar case that the same law protected gender identity when a transgender woman claimed she was denied a job at the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because of her transition.

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffen praised the decision but called on legislators to bolster it and other LGBT civil rights issues by setting them into law.
Griffen said in a statement

While an important step, it also highlights the need for a comprehensive federal law permanently and clearly banning LGBT discrimination beyond employment to all areas of American life,”

LGBT Elder Americans Act Reintroduced by Senior U.S. senator

The senior U.S. senator from Colorado reintroduced on Tuesday legislation intended to aid LGBT elder Americans, which continue to face difficulty in accessing resources afforded generally to the older population.


Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the omnibus bill, which is known as LGBT Elder Americans Act and aims to make additional resources available to elder LGBT Americans. The bill, which would build upon the Older Americans Act, would designate LGBT seniors as a vulnerable population and permanently establish a National Resource Center on LGBT Ageing. Bennet said in a statement the legislation is important because as the number of Americans age 65 and older surges over the next few decades, the number of LGBT older adults is expected to double to 3 million by 2030.

Bennet said…

As baby boomers continue to age, it’s important that we understand the unique needs of this diverse generation. For LGBT seniors, questions about health care and financial issues can be particularly difficult without a trustworthy advocate to help guide them through these challenging decisions. And now, with full marriage equality thankfully the law of the land, many older LGBT couples have additional planning decisions to make.

This bill will help ageing service organisations assist older LGBT adults and their caregivers. Above all, it will provide LGBT seniors and their families the peace of mind that their best interests are being considered.”

Sen. Michael Bennet 01

Joining Bennet as original co-sponsors of the legislation are Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in the U.S. Senate, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who’s known as a champion of LGBT rights.

According to a fact sheet accompanying the bill, many Area Agencies on Aging, or local organisations that seek to foster independence in aging, offer LGBT cultural competence training to their staff, but very few offer LGBT-specific programs or outreach.

Less than half say they would be able to offer or fund LGBT-specific services, the fact sheet says. The legislation was first introduced in 2012 during the 112th Congress. In the previous Congress, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced LGBT-inclusive legislation inclusive to the reauthorisation the Older Americans Act through fiscal year 2018, but neither her version, nor the Republican version of the legislation, saw any traction.

According to a fact sheet, The LGBT Elder Americans Act would make numerous accommodations for LGBT older Americans.

Michael Adams, executive director of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, praised the introduction of the bill, but anticipated difficulty in passage going forward.

On the heels of yesterday’s LGBT-inclusive White House Conference on Aging, it’s now time for Congress to act to address the many ways that federal aging services and programs are not effectively addressing the needs of LGBT older people .

That’s why SAGE is so grateful to Sen. Bennet for his leadership in re-introducing the LGBT Elder Americans Act. While it’s no secret that it’s difficult to move legislation through Congress in this polarised environment, the proposed act should be common sense for anybody interested in fairness for LGBT people.”

The White House Looks to Protect Elder LGBT Americans with New Anti-Discrimination Housing Policy

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday issued new guidance on rules to ensure that gay people are protected from discrimination in federally subsidised housing, particularly in programs designed for older Americans.

The White House hosted a conference this week, something that is done only once every decade. The previous conference had over 1200 delegates in attendance, with one single delegate representing the entire LGBT community.

This year, they chose to downsize the event, and invite around 200 delegates to discuss the problems of elderly Americans.

Four of those invitees represented older LGBT people, including Michael Adams, executive director of Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE).

HUD used the conference to announce new anti-discrimination protections for elderly LGBT Americans.

The Washington Post reports that the new HUD policy expands the department’s Equal Access Rule, designed to protect people who live in federal housing or use federal rent vouchers.

The Equal Access Rule said a person could not be evicted or refused accommodation because of sexual orientation. The new policy clarifies that no owner or administrator of HUD-subsidized housing or FHA-assisted financing may even inquire about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant. Violators would be subjected to HUD sanctions, and there is no religious freedom exemption.

SAGE’s Michael Adams praised the new policy:

HUD’s announcement is a strong step toward ending discrimination against LGBT people in federally supported senior housing.

With a recent report showing that housing discrimination against LGBT elders is rampant, this is just the kind of leadership we need from the federal government. Now we need to make sure that these anti discrimination protections are effectively implemented.”

The new policy goes into effect immediately.

Congratulations America, US Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage is Legal Nationwide

The Supreme Court has delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

Advocates have called the right for same-sex ‘the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times’, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.

ssm-640x640 US-LGBT-01 US-LGBT-02

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion

Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.”

He was joined in the ruling by the court’s liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

All four of the court’s most conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented and each wrote a separate opinion, saying the court had usurped a power that belongs to the people.

It is unclear how soon marriage licences will be issued in states where gay unions were previously prohibited.

Before the ruling on Thursday, same-sex couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC.

Hundreds of people had camped out for hours awaiting the news, and when it was delivered a loud cheers erupted outside the court.

On social media, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton merely tweeted the word “proud” and the White House changed its Twitter avatar into the rainbow colours.

New Report Underlines Fierce Inequalities American LGBTs Face

While marriage equality may become a nationwide phenomenon this summer, LGBT Americans will still suffer many inequities, a new report from the Movement Advancement Project points out.

Sixty-one percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population in the U.S. will continue to live in states with medium or low legal protections — or that have outright hostile laws.”

Mapping LGBT Equality in America ranks U.S. states by their LGBT rights policies, rating them as high, low, medium, or negative in regard to equality.

The state rankings derive from their policies in a variety of areas, including anti-discrimination law, relationship recognition, health care, parenting rights, and much more.

California ranks highest of all states, Louisiana lowest.

LGBT Americans 01

Twelve states and the District of Columbia, collectively home to 39% of the LGBT population, rank in the high equality category; 10 states, with 9% of LGBT Americans, medium equality; 13 states, encompassing 23% of LGBT people, low equality; and 15 states, with 28%of LGBT Americans, negative equality.

The report notes that even if the Supreme Court makes marriage equality the law of the land when it rules on the cases it heard in April, 52% of LGBT people would be at risk of being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, or denied access to doctor’s offices and restaurants; 86% would live in states where their child is not protected from discrimination in school for having LGBT parents; and 81% would live in states that allow harmful “conversion therapy” to be used on minors.

The proportion of LGBT people living in states with high and medium overall equality would remain unchanged, but 12 states would shift from negative equality states to become low equality states.

LGBT Americans 02

MAP executive director Ineke Mushovic said in a recent press release

Without question, a victory at the Supreme Court would be a transformative in helping advance equality for LGBT people. “However, many other laws are needed to fully protect LGBT people and their families. For example, while same-sex couples may soon be able to marry in their home state, that same state’s laws may fail to protect LGBT youth from being bullied in schools, lack non-discrimination laws covering LGBT workers, or lack laws and policies that help transgender people update the gender marker on their identity documents. One state may have high equality while a neighbouring state has hostile laws. Or a state may have high levels of equality for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people while offering almost no legal protections to transgender people.”

Read the full report at MAP’swebsite, which also offers continually updated information on individual states’ LGBT policies.

According to Recent Stats 1-in-20 Women Have Had a Same-Sex Partner

Sexual identity is now big part of official government statistics in both in the US and UK.

In the UK we have the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and in the US there is National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviours.

It is reported that there are around 9 million LGBTs in America, which is roughly the equivalent to the population of New Jersey, and in the UK, there is around 1.2 million LGBTs, the equivalent to the population of Birmingham.

Over an age-range from 16 to 74, 1% of women and 1.5% of men consider themselves gay/lesbian, and 1.4% of women and 1% of men think of themselves as bisexual. But, there is a clear gradient with age, with a much higher proportion in younger people, particularly in younger women.

However, same-sex sexual behaviour can come in all degrees of intensity, from a same-sex experience, which could be just a smooch in the dark, to a same-sex partner, who is someone with whom you have had any genital contact intended to achieve orgasm.

For women, the proportion who report having had some same-sex experience has grown dramatically over the past 20 years: from 4% in 1990 to 10% in 2000, and to 16% in 2010 – a massive change in behaviour over such a short period. But this is not all just girls kissing girls in imitation of Madonna and Britney Spears; around half report genital contact, and around half of these in the past five years, so that overall nearly one in 20 women report a same-sex partner in the past five years.

However, it is clear that there is a lot of experimental activity going on. Roughly, for each woman who has had a recent same-sex partner there are two more of the same age who have had some same-sex contact in their lives.


Men show a different pattern. In 2010, about 8% of 16- to 44-year-old men reported having had a same-sex experience: this is higher than in 1990, possibly associated with both better reporting and the decline in fear of HIV, but there have been no substantial recent changes.

However, the picture shows a clear peak of lifetime same-sex experience for men aged around 60, and then a dramatic drop in those around 70, a pattern not seen in women.

History might provide some explanation: men now aged around 60 were teenagers in the liberating 60s, when homosexuality was legalised, while men who are now around 70 grew up when same-sex male behaviour in men was illegal and frequently prosecuted. Much younger men, meanwhile, would have come to adulthood in the more sober era of HIV.

Overall the proportion of people with same-sex experience is far higher than the proportion who identify themselves as gay and bisexual.

This must mean that many same-sex contacts are by people who do not consider themselves gay or bisexual.

Shocking Truth – At Least 594 LGBT People Were Murdered in The Americas Between 2013-14

One of the biggest challenges facing LGBT people in the world today is the stigma that surrounds queer identities. The idea that LGBT people are less than is widely circulated and can result in some serious outcomes when left unchallenged.

That stigma is one thing that holds LGBT people back from their rights, with those in charge of the decision (whether that be voters or legislators) thinking they don’t deserve them. In other more serious cases, the belief that LGBT people are less than can lead to them being attacked or even murdered.

It’s that last statistic that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in charge of figuring out: just how many LGBT people in The Americas are harmed because of their identities? Having now released the latest batch of figures, their results are more jarring than ever.

According to their report, 594 people who were believed to have been LGBT were murdered (with a further 176 people having survived “serious attacks”) in The Americas from the beginning of 2013 to March, 2014. The Americas includes every country from Canada and the United States to Brazil, Peru and every other country in the southern continent.

The IACHR further broke those figures down, explaining that transgender women and gay men were more likely to be attacked, young people especially. And, of those transgender women, a massive 80% of them were under 35.

And it’s not just ordinary citizens who are responsible for these heinous hate crimes either but government officials are just as guilty too. IACHR revealed that “trans women and other gender non-conforming persons are often targeted by law enforcement agents, who tend to act upon prejudice and assume they are criminals.”

So what can be done? Harsher punishments for hate crimes and a larger focus on changing prejudices and opinions would be two massive stepping stones but an overhaul in reporting is also needed. The IACHR explained in their report that much of their statistics are compiled from media reports and data from activist organisations as many countries in The Americas do not report this type of crime as a hate crime (and rather, it gets reported as a standard murder). This isn’t a failure on the IACHR’s part as they can only report on what they know, but it is unfortunate that governments don’t find it necessary to report on the discrimination that their populations face.

Watch | Lesbian Couples Fight For Same-Sex Marriage in Mississippi

Same-sex marriages is now available in 75% America, but the battle needs more momentum, especially in the South.

However, do not fear, as the same-sex marriage movement is alive and well, even in Mississippi.

Andrea Sanders and Rebecca Bickett are one of two lesbian couples fighting to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Watch their story…

Obama Announces June ‘LGBT Pride Month’ is in Honour of Stonewall Riots

President Barack Obama has announced that June will be recognised nationally as LGBT Pride Month, in honour of the 45th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

“I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

This month, as we mark 45 years since the patrons of the Stonewall Inn defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement, let us honor every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity, because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.

As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect, our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well.

During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains.

In many places around the globe, LGBT people face persecution, arrest, or even state-sponsored execution. This is unacceptable. The United States calls on every nation to join us in defending the universal human rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

President Barack Obama

In the statement the President also called out Republicans in Congress for stalling ENDA, which would afford protections to LGBT people in employment.

Save the Date – New Mississippi L Word Documentry due August

The Showtime announced Wednesday that it will debut L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, a documentary from series creator Ilene Chaiken, in August. The L Word Mississippi will be a 90-minute documentary that unites Chaiken with Real L Word executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz’s Magical Elves.

Directed by Emmy nominee Lauren Lazin, the new show will explore the daily struggles of a group of Southern lesbians. Chaiken and the Elves will visit Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community; a white mother who would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man; a couple who grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning; and a former life-long lesbian who struggles to “pray the gay away” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

After The Real L Word was canceled last year, Showtime said they weren’t completely done with the L Word brand and that, instead, they’d put together a documentary about identifying as lesbian in a small town community.

“I’ve been talking a lot with Dan, Jane and Ilene about exploring L Word culture – lesbian culture in places not New York, L.A. – where the subculture is not so defined and it’s not so easy. I think we’re likely to make a documentary that will feel like a Real L Word documentary,”

David Nevins, Showtime Entertainment President

L Word Mississippi will premiere Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The news comes a day after Showtime announced it would air the entire series runs of Queer as Folk and The L Word to celebrate Gay Pride Month in June. Chaiken, meanwhile, will segue from showrunning ABC’s The Black Box to Fox’s hip-hop drama Empire.

From a press release:

What is life like for lesbians living outside more progressive metropolitan areas in America today where gay women endure hardships, bigotry, bullying, sexism and racism while trying to live among their predominantly straight neighbors? Chaiken and the Elves journey deep into Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen such women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to “pray the gay away,” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

…Against the backdrop of the burgeoning gender and marriage equality debate, L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN spotlights those loving, living, working, parenting and forcing change from within places where entrenched, conservative values have resisted the progress the LGBTQ community has worked hard to achieve elsewhere.