West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio places travel ban on city-funded trips to Indiana


For immediate release on March 31, 2015

 For further information, contact:

Mayor Jeri Muoio
City of West Palm Beach
(561) 822-1400(561) 822-1400
jmuoio@wpb.org 

Judge Rand Hoch (retired), 
PBCHRC President and
Founder

Media Release West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio
places travel ban on  city-funded trips to Indiana

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio places travel ban on city-funded trips to Indiana

(West Palm Beach, Florida) — In the wake of Indiana’s passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio became the first mayor in Florida to place a travel ban on city-funded trips to Indiana.

“For more than two decades, West Palm Beach has been in the forefront, protecting the civil rights and ensuring equality for the LGBT community,” said Muoio. “Until Indiana’s discriminatory law is amended or repealed, West Palm Beach taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people.”

Mayor Muoio took this action at yesterday’s City Commission meeting at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local civil rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

“Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act sanctions outright discrimination against LGBT people,” said retired judge Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Human Rights Council.  “We commend Mayor Muoio for putting her strong beliefs against bigotry into action by prohibiting taxpayer dollarsbeing used in Indiana.”

Similar travel bans have been put into place by states of Connecticut and Washington, as well as the cities of Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.

Muoio’s concern goes beyond the her own city.

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to meet in Indianapolis next year,” explained Muoio.  “If Indiana’s law is not changed, I am going to ask the Conference to move the meeting to a more accepting locale.”

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Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations


ILGA-Europe | March 19, 2015

Lithuanian member organisation, LGL, have released a publication on homophobic bullying in Lithuanian schools.

The publication, entitled ‘Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations’, shows that almost a quarter of teachers (23.3%) said that verbal bullying based on presumed or actual sexual orientation occurs often or very often.

LGL make several recommendations, including:

  • Raising teachers’ awareness of the fact that there are LGBT young people and students in their schools and that they face bullying and harassment
  • Educating teachers on how to provide support to these young people
  • Incorporating homophobic bullying into the general anti-bullying program
  • Ensuring that sexual education is taught in school
  • Creating support and informational systems for students

The full publication is available to download as a PDF file here.

“Equality for All” conference on discrimination issues faced by LGBT and Religion and Belief-based communities


ILGA-Europe | March 30, 2015

On 26 March,ILGA-Europe and ENORB, the European Network on Religion and Belief, jointly organised a ground-breaking event to examine existing and proposed equality legislation in Europe.

The event aimed at identifying common experiences of discrimination between LGBTI people and religious and belief groups, gaining knowledge on EU anti-discrimination legal framework and exploring areas of potential tension in a spirit of dialogue and mutual understanding.

After presentations by Equinet and the European Commission on the EU anti-discrimination framework, participants brainstormed on their lived experiences of discrimination in the areas of health, education, employment and access to goods and services. In the afternoon, they worked on case-studies aiming at identifying together ways forward to overcome tensions and misunderstandings.

60 persons attended the event, representing ILGA-Europe and ENORB members, but also equality bodies, and policy makers at EU level.

Read more


West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio
places travel ban on city-funded trips to Indiana

March 31, 2015

In the wake of Indiana’s passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio became the first mayor in Florida to place a travel ban on city-funded trips to Indiana.

“For more than two decades, West Palm Beach has been in the forefront, protecting the civil rights and ensuring equality for the LGBT community,” said Muoio. “Until Indiana’s discriminatory law is amended or repealed, West Palm Beach taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people.”

Mayor Muoio took this action at yesterday’s City Commission meeting at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local civil rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

“Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act
sanctions outright discrimination against LGBT people,” said retired judge Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Human Rights Council.  “We commend Mayor Muoio for putting her strong beliefs against bigotry into action by prohibiting taxpayer dollarsbeing used in Indiana.”

Similar travel bans have been put into place by states of Connecticut and Washington, as well as the cities of Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.

Muoio’s concern goes beyond the her own city.

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to meet in Indianapolis next year,” explained Muoio.  “If Indiana’s law is not changed, I am going to ask the Conference to move the meeting to a more accepting locale.”

Wedding for Asylum Seeking African Lesbian Couple at San Francisco City Hall


O-blog-dee-o-blog-da

Calling on San Francisco and U.S.A. LGBT community for support as persecuted lesbian couple seeking asylum plan their marriage

By Melanie Nathan, March 30, 2015

Mari and Cara watch on at San Francisco City as another couple gets married Mari and Cara watch on at San Francisco City as another couple gets married

After years on the run a young lesbian couple from an African country, surviving terrifying persecution, miraculously made their way to San Francisco where they are seeking asylum.  They will no longer be waiting in the wings as their dream to marry will soon be realized.

The lesbian couple from Angola, who fled for their lives back in 2012, finally made their way to the United States, after years in limbo and a long harrowing journey. While seeking asylum, they are planning a wedding at San Francisco City Hall, for later in April. They may be the first asylum seeking lesbian couple to marry at San Francisco City Hall.

Through many…

View original post 1,473 more words

The Backlash to the Anti-Gay Backlash: “Religious Freedom” Bills Fail, As More People See What They’re Really About


Shutterstock

Dr. Jay Michaelson | The Daily Beast | March 30, 2015

An Oklahoma state representative proposes that discriminators out themselves. Result? The whole bill was shelved.
The anti-gay backlash backlash is here.

In the wake of advances for LGBT equality, conservatives across the country have rallied to pass “religious freedom” bills that would allow people and businesses to discriminate if they have a religious justification for doing so.

The poster children of this campaign are religious wedding photographers and cake bakers. But the real impact is far more serious: huge corporations like Hobby Lobby denying benefits, services, and recognition to same-sex families; Catholic hospitals disallowing longtime, same-sex spouses to visit one another; huge university systems firing janitors, basketball coaches, and secretaries because they are gay.

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Health professionals call for radical changes as HIV outbreak in Indiana hits ‘epidemic proportions’


A syringe is pictured along West Main Street in Scott County Picture: Christopher Fryer

A syringe is pictured along West Main Street in Scott County Picture: Christopher Fryer

MATTHEW DUNN | Herald Sun | March 30, 2015

State health officials from Scott County have recorded 81 HIV positive cases, including 74 confirmed cases and another 7 preliminary cases in the last several months.

The outbreak has been blamed on the counties widespread drug abuse and insufficient public health system.

As one of the more poverty stricken parts of the country, the rural area has long struggled with heroin addiction.

Read more

Teen boys more homophobic than general population and new campaign aims to turn the tide


 

Worrying trend ... teenage boys are more homophobic than the general population, a distur

Worrying trend … teenage boys are more homophobic than the general population, a disturbing study has revealed.

Sue Dunlevy | Herald Sun | March 30, 2015

FOUR in ten teenage boys wouldn’t welcome a gay person into their friendship group even though they know discrimination can lead to depression.

An alarming new study for beyondblue has found young males hold more homophobic attitudes than the general public.

More than half (58 per cent) of the 304 teenage boys surveyed by global marketing company TNS for beyondblue recall someone being bullied over their sexuality.

And three quarters said they had heard the term ‘gay’ being used to described something disliked.

One in five boys aged 14-17 say they found it hard to treat gay people in the same was as everyone else.

Read more

California AG seeks to ax the “kill the gays” initiative


Ken Williams – SDGLN Editor in Chief | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | March 30, 2015

LOS ANGELES, California — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris moved today to prevent the “Sodomite Suppression Act” from becoming a California initiative in November 2016. Harris, as the state’s top legal voice, does not have the authority to terminate the “kill the gays” initiative proposed by elusive Orange County lawyer Matt McLaughlin. Only a court can do that. So on Wednesday, Harris filed an action for declaratory relief seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act.

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society,” Harris said in a statement.

“Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act.’ If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

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