Obama Administration Will No Longer Defend Federal Law Banning Gay Marriage

Advertisements

Gaga Targets Gay Discrimination

Lady Gaga has scored yet another hit for gay rights by persuading retail giant Target to reconsider its funding of anti-gay causes. In return for the rights to sell an exclusive edition of the singer’s new album Born This Way, Target has also agreed to start donating to gay charities.

In a meeting that Gaga describes as being “intense” the Poker Face singer took Target to task over its funding of causes that advocate discrimination against gay people.

Target has previously come under fire for a $150,000 donation it made to U.S. political action group MN Forward who supported high profile Republican nominee Tom Emmer in his bid for governor, Minnesota in 2010.

Emmer is on record as supporting a state constitutional amendment banning civil recognition of same-sex marriages or its legal equivalent. It has been reported that Emmer’s bid campaign included funding to fiercely anti-gay Christian youth ministry You Can Run But You Can’t Hide International.

Despite publicly apologising for the donation Target has continued to support causes branded questionable by gay rights activists. The company does however pay benefits to partners of gay employees and staff members have praised the firm as a gay-friendly employer.

Gaga’s deal with Target includes a special edition of her forthcoming CD release Born This Way, which includes extra tracks and remixes exclusively available from the discount retailer. In return Target has agreed to discontinue funding causes with anti-gay links and instead fund more gay charities.

In an interview with Billboard, the 24-year-old superstar said: “That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting. Part of my deal with target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past… Our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those [antigay] groups.”

Here at the Haus of Gay Chat we already think Gaga is God, and the Target deal yet another example of her continued commitment to gay rights. We highly recommend rushing out and buying her new album when it’s released worldwide in May. Go gays! Go Gaga!

Gary Cosby

Story Update March 9, 2011 The partnership between Lady Gaga and Target has dissolved. No official statement has been made, however it has been reported that the deal was ended by mutual agreement. GC

UK Government Considers Gay Marriage Equality

The UK government has proposed lifting the ban on gay civil ceremonies being conducted in religious buildings. Amendments to the Equality Act that will allow religious elements in civil ceremonies will come into effect by the end of 2011.

In addition to the announcement the equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, has divulged that a consultation will take place on the “next steps” towards marriage equality within England and Wales.

“Over the past few months I’ve spoken to a lot of LGB and T people and campaign groups, and it quickly became clear that there is a real desire to address the differences between civil marriage and civil partnerships,” the equalities minister said.

“I’m delighted to announce that we are going to be the first British government to formally look at what steps can be taken to address this.”

Gay rights campaigners welcomed the announcement but have criticised the amount of time it has taken the government to address the imbalances between civil partnerships and civil marriage.

Veteran gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell said there is no excuse for the delay in permitting religious civil partnership ceremonies.

“Allowing religious partnerships is long overdue. It was agreed by parliament nearly a year ago. There is no excuse for the government’s long delay in putting it into effect, “he said in response.

“Permitting faith organisations on making their own decision on whether to conduct same-sex civil partnerships is the democratic and decent thing to do. The current law prevents them from doing so, even if they want to.”

A recent poll taken by gay news website PinkNews.co.uk found that an overwhelming majority of its readers want the right to marry. Ninety-eight percent of the 800 readers polled said they wanted gay marriage equality with 77 per cent agreeing that the choice of marriage or civil partnerships should be open to all couples regardless of sexuality.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May said: “No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward.”

While none of us here in the gay chat team are planning on getting hitched anytime soon (we’re having too much fun being single!) we’re ecstatic about the announcement. It’s another important step towards gay equality. Bravo!

Gary Cosby

New Minister for Equality’s anti-Gay voting record

Theresa May, the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has been appointed to the position of Home Secretary and Minster for Women and Equality.

In a move that will undoubtedly ruffle gay rights campaigners, Prime Minister David Cameron announced her appointment along with the rest of the new cabinet on Tuesday.

May’s voting record on gay rights could be construed as somewhat negative. In 1998 she voted against equalizing the age of consent and in 2008 she cast a no vote against the repeal of Section 28 – legislation that banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools.

In 2001 and again the following year May voted against gay couples being allowed to adopt.

May did however vote in favour of Civil Partnerships, granting same-sex couples identical rights and responsibilities to that of civil marriage in 2004.

In 2008 as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons she voted in favour of a bill which proposed that IVF rights should require a male role model – discriminating against lesbian fertility rights.

May replaces Chris Grayling in the post of Home Secretary. Grayling, who hasn’t been allocated a new position, caused a media storm recently when he said that bed and breakfast owners should have the right to ban gay couples.

In an interview with PinkNews David Henry of gay rights group Outrage said May was “the wrong person for the job

“She’s always been against gay rights since I can remember. I’m pretty sure she’s opposed almost every gay rights measure.”

Gay lobbying group Stonewall have so far declined to officially comment on the Home Secretary’s appointment however a spokesperson told Pink News: “Both coalition parties made a number of promises to lesbian and gay voters during the campaign. We look forward to working with Teresa May to see them fulfilled.”

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit www.maleforce.com

Related link: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/05/12/analysis-how-pro-gay-is-the-new-home-secretary-and-minister-for-equality-theresa-may/#

Ben & Jerry’s Gay wedding

In September last year Ben & Jerry’s sweetened up the gay marriage debate by rebranding their ‘Chubby Hubby’ ice cream as ‘Hubby Hubby’ in support of same-sex unions.

Back then, In a statement issued by the company, Walt Freese, Chief Executive Officer of Ben & Jerry’s said “At the core of Ben & Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to. From the very beginning of our 30 year history, we have supported equal rights for all people. The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont (Ben & Jerry’s home state) is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream.”

In honour of the legalization of gay marriage in Wahington D.C last week resident Ben & Jerry’s super-fans Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios decided to return the favour by tieing the knot at their local parlour.

The new law, approved in December, came into effect just last week. Ben & Jerry’s cofounder David Catania attended the ceremony.

“Equal rights and treatment for all people was a founding principle of Ben & Jerry’s when we started the company over 30 years ago,” Jerry Greenfield, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s, said in a statement.

“We are proud that the District of Columbia is recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry and are happy to celebrate the milestone with an ice cream wedding cake and best wishes for the happy couple.”

The district now joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont as the only places in America where gay marriages can be conducted.

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

Gay church weddings get House of Lords blessing

Gay men and women can now marry in churches after the House of Lords voted in favour of lifting the ban on religious premises hosting same-sex unions.

An amendment to the Equality Bill, tabled by out Muslim peer Waheed Alli, received overwhelming support in the Lords which includes senior clergy in the Church of England.

Still pending House of Commons approval, the amendment gives religious venues the option to host civil partnership ceremonies.

Currently legislation forbids religious premises to conduct gay unions; however various liberal denominations have been blessing gay partnerships once a civil ceremony has already taken place.

In an interview with The Independent Lord Alli rebuked suggestion that the amendment means churches will be eventually forced to accept gay marriage.

“Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants,” he said. “This amendment does not place an obligation on any religious organisation to host civil partnerships in their buildings. But there are many gay and lesbian couples who want to share their civil partnership with the congregations that they worship with. And there are a number of religious organisations that want to allow gay and lesbian couples to do exactly that.”

Although the amendment was backed by senior bishops in the Lords it has been strongly opposed by conservative Christians.

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre told The Times: “What is being advanced as an issue of religious freedom today will be used to remove religious freedom in the future.

“Homosexual activists have made clear that this is not the end. It is a step towards forcing churches to conduct same-sex unions that would go against their beliefs. Changing the law will further blur the distinction between marriage and what the Government put forward as a purely secular ceremony.”

The Quakers, Liberal Judaism and The Unitarians have welcomed the amendment.

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at  www.maleforce.com

By Gary Cosby

Related Link: 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7037062.ece