In the past weeks, the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has weighed heavily on all of our thoughts.
With 49 victims, the hashtag #SayTheirNames has served as a way to memorialise those who lost their lives.
However, now Ryan Murphy (the man behind Glee and American Horror Story) has directed a tribute video for HRC, featuring actors of both shows, along with a host of other A List stars, in a touching tribute to honour the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.
In the video, 49 celebs wear black and sit against a black backdrop, each one reciting a brief biography of one of the victims.
Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, Matt Bomer, and Laverne Cox are just a few of the many names who came together to tell these stories. They also use the platform to call for an end to hate crimes and gun violence.
Today, in an exclusive statement to HRC, Google spoke out against the host of anti-LGBT bills pending or signed in to law in states around the country.
The statement reads:
“We oppose all laws that enable or encourage discrimination and are pleased that there are now concrete moves to clarify the intent of these laws in various U.S. States. We’ve been steadfast in our efforts to eliminate discrimination against the LGBT community – including through our vocal opposition to Prop 8, our filing of legal briefs in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, the benefits we provide same-sex couples at Google, and by drawing attention to the issue globally through various international campaigns, the homepage doodle for the Sochi Olympics, and supporting the “It Gets Better” project.”
Yesterday, a number of industry leaders signed an unprecedented joint statement supporting the addition of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people to civil rights laws.
Other major organisations, including Wal-Mart and Apple, have similarly opposed the anti-LGBT legislation sweeping the USA. Raising their concerns that these bills undermine existing civil rights law and deeply harm the business climate of the states in which they are passed.
Currently, there are more than 85 anti-LGBT bills in 28 state legislatures. To learn more about the rising tide of anti-LGBT legislation swelling across the country, click here.
The UK Government is being urged to pardon 49,000 men and women who were persecuted under Anti-Gay Laws.
The action comes in response to the film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the publics newfound awareness of gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing who was convicted of “gross indecency” for being gay.
LGBT activists are now calling on the British government to pardon the tens of thousands of other British citizens who were persecuted under draconian anti-gay laws of the past.
In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing, who committed suicide after being convicted.
Following a screening of The Imitation Game in London, actor Stephen Fry said the pardon was only the start of what should be done to honor Turing.
“Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius, when somewhere between 50 to 70 thousand other men were imprisoned, chemically castrated, had their lives ruined or indeed committed suicide because of the laws under which Turing suffered?
There is a general feeling that perhaps if he should be pardoned, then perhaps so should all of those men, whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families. It was a nasty, malicious and horrific law and one that allowed so much blackmail and so much misery and so much distress.
Turing stands as a figure symbolic to his own age in the way that Oscar Wilde was, who suffered under a more but similar one.”
HRC president Chad Griffin ran an ad in Friday’s New York Times on the campaign to pardon the other 49,000 persecuted gay men and women. There’s also a Change.org petition underway for the campaign HERE.
The HRC (Human Rights Campaign ), the United States’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is asking all to celebrate the 26th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) – a globally recognized event, which embraces the coming out of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or as an ally.
Yesterday, HRC President Chad Griffin penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which he shared his coming out experience, and encouraged folks across the country to live openly and authentically.
“For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans all across this country, coming out is one of the hardest things they will ever do. No matter what state you call home, a conservative church, community, or even your own family can inadvertently force you to suffer in silence. Even today, living openly in the face of that pressure can require almost superhuman personal strength…..If you feel like you’re not living as openly as you could, consider changing that on Saturday. And if someone close to you chooses Saturday – or any other day – to honor you by revealing the truth about his or her life, know what courage that took, and offer every reassurance and affirmation you can.”
Chad Griffin, HRC President
As part of NCOD 2014, Griffin will be traveling to college campuses in the South next week to participate in forums about the critical importance of LGBT people and allies coming out and sharing their stories.
In addition, through exclusive videos and a week-long blog series leading up to Saturday, HRC has been sharing the diverse experiences of people from all walks of life who’ve come out, and highlighting stories via Facebook, Twitter, and for the first time, Snapchat.
HRC also released a compilation video of celebrities and public figures who made the decision to live openly earlier this year, including Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent and actress Ellen Page, who came out at HRC Foundation’s inaugural Time to THRIVE Conference.
For more information and resources on National Coming Out Day, visit HRC’s Coming Out Centerand follow the hashtag #ComingOut.
GLAAD and HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest advocacy group for LGBT rights, today unveiled ‘In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections’ a groundbreaking resource guide that empowers journalists to challenge anti-LGBT talking heads who mask bias as a ‘tenet of faith.’
“It’s time the media gets it right. More and more churches, faith leaders, and religious Americans are speaking out in support of equality, but their voices remain missing in mainstream media. It’s time to close the gap on misrepresentation and challenge the tired idea that equality is not a religious value.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO
Back in 2012, GLAAD released “GLAAD’s Missing Voices: A study of religious voices in mainstream media reports about LGBT equality.” The report found that three out of four religious messages came from spokespeople whose religions have formal policies or culture opposing LGBT equality, despite the fact that acceptance of LGBT people is growing across faith traditions. Additionally, mainstream media outlets use far fewer religious sources from Mainline Protestant, Jewish, or other denominations whose messages were predominantly positive and accepting of LGBT people. Far too often, outlets frame stories as “God vs. Gay,” inaccurately representing the current climate of acceptance across faith communities today. The newly released guide seeks to correct these disparities in reporting.
“It’s long past time that anti-LGBT activists who claim to be people of faith had to answer a few simple questions about what the Bible and other holy books actually say. I grew up in a Southern Baptist congregation, going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night and, if my Mom got her way, Wednesday night too. The message I learned sitting in those church pews was that we are all God’s children, and you’ve got to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Chad Griffin, HRC President Chad Griffin
Visit www.glaad.org/faith to learn more about GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program, and www.hrc.org/religion for resources and to learn more about HRC’s work with religious communities.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released another video ad featuring professional skateboarder and CEO Tony Hawk. This is the third video released for the re-launch of HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality video campaign. Susan Sarandon and Demi Lovato have already shown their support for marriage equality through video ads.
“Like most Americans, Tony Hawk knows that all families deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality under the law. We are incredibly grateful to Tony for speaking out in favor of marriage equality, and lending his voice to HRC’s fight for fairness nationwide.”
Charles Joughin, HRC
Hawk is one of the worlds most recognised action-sports figure. He regularly appears on television and in films, hosts a weekly show on the Sirius XM satellite radio network, and frequently takes his talent on the road with the Birdhouse Skateboards team.
Tony’s success and good fortune have inspired him to do what he can to help young people, so in 2002 he launched the Tony Hawk Foundation to help achieve that goal.
“We all deserve to follow our hearts, and we need to continue working until every state recognizes marriage as an equal right”
Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. However, polling continues to show Americans moving inexorably in the direction of supporting equality for same-sex couples, and there are over 70 court cases across the country challenging bans on marriage equality.
HRC have officially re-launched their successful video campaign – Americans for Marriage Equality. The first first features Demi Lovato.
In the video, Lovato makes the case for marriage equality, saying,
“Let’s protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring and committed same-sex couples to legally marry.”
The video is part of the HRC’s public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. Demi also penned an email to HRC’s more than 1.5 million members and supporters, calling on all Americans to get involved in the fight for marriage equality nationwide.
Platinum-selling recording artist and actress, Demi Lovato, recently lent her voice to the LGBT community, by being named Grand Marshal of the 44th annual Los Angeles Pride parade and headline performing at NYC Pride’s Dance on the Pier. Her performance at LA Pride served as the backdrop for her new music video and LGBT anthem, “Really Don’t Care.” With a fan base that includes over 20 million die-hard Twitter followers and 30 million fans on Facebook, her latest album, Demi, hit #1 on iTunes in 50 countries and the lead single—”Heart Attack”— earned Platinum status just 10 weeks after launch.
As one of the LGBT community’s most vocal allies, Demi has made anti-bullying advocacy a cornerstone of her public life, impacting countless young people around the world – including the youth in the LGBT community who view her as a role-model when it comes to being true to yourself. At a time where 92 percent of adolescents are constantly being exposed to negative messages about being LGBT, Demi provides an incredible stance on positivity and love.
This week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation released Equality Rising report, which is outlines the many of the successes and setbacks of LGBT activists, advocates, and allies around the world in 2013. Released for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – #IDAHOT, this report aims to educate people about many of the notable events from last year in the growing global equality movement.
Equality Rising highlights victories for marriage equality in five nations, progress in the fight for transgender equality on at least four continents, as well as increased LGBT visibility broadly and tremendous acts of courage in nations as dangerous for LGBT people as Iran. The report also documents new anti-LGBT laws, ongoing persecution and violence, and efforts by extreme anti-LGBT Americans to export hateful rhetoric and misinformation abroad.
A few highlights from the report include:
More nations—Brazil, France, New Zealand, England and Wales in the United Kingdom, and Uruguay—opened the doors to marriage equality in 2013 than any year in history. These victories brought the total number of nations extending full marriage rights to all of its citizens to 16.
Although millions of transgender people around the world remain frequent targets for discrimination, at least eight nations on four continents took tangible steps toward greater equality for transgender and intersex citizens.
LGBT people have become more visible globally that ever before—in the workplace, on television, and running for office at the local, state, and national levels and winning.
Nigeria, Russia, and Uganda passed laws in 2013 that inhibited the freedom of speech and association of LGBT people and their allies, with the law in Uganda allowing for life imprisonment as a punishment for “aggravated homosexuality”.
In more than 80 countries, LGBT people are considered criminals for simply being who they are. They are frequently demonized for political gain, and they remain targets of harassment, arrest, violence, and in some cases, torture.
Equality Rising comes on the heels of last year’s announcement of HRC Foundation’s global engagement program, which is dedicated to joining advocates around the world in advancing global equality. The program aims to do so by educating Americans on the human rights of LGBT people around the world; exposing the work of prominent anti-gay American organizations that have pushed anti-gay laws and legislation overseas; leveraging its relationships with American policymakers, faith communities, corporations and other change agents to help protect the human rights of LGBT people abroad; and providing fellowships at HRC for foreign LGBT advocates.
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Kitsch Mix, is a rapidly growing social platform developed to promote the diverse creative ventures of women in the LGBT community. It aims to chronicle and celebrate the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community.
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