LGBT+ News: Australia Votes YES!

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Postby Wayne » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:34 am

Edith Windsor, plaintiff in 2013 same-sex marriage case, dead at 88

Washington (CNN)Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the 2013 United States Supreme Court case that struck down a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, has died at 88, according to her lawyer.

Windsor's death was first reported by The New York Times.

As the lead plaintiff in the legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, Windsor was a hero to supporters of LGBT rights, who credited the SCOTUS ruling in her case as being the first step to an eventual ruling two years later that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that with Windsor's death, "we lost one of this country's great civil rights pioneers."

"The wheels of progress turn forward because of people like Edie, who are willing to stand up in the face of injustice," Romero said in a statement. "One simply cannot write the history of the gay rights movement without reserving immense credit and gratitude for Edie Windsor."

Former President Bill Clinton, who had signed DOMA into law, also tweeted about Windsor's death.

"In standing up for herself, Edie also stood up for millions of Americans and their rights. May she rest in peace," Clinton tweeted.

Former President Barack Obama also offered his condolences, and said he had a conversation with her a few days ago, in which he told her "one more time what a difference she made to this country we love."

"Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor -- and few made as big a difference to America," Obama said.


Same-sex marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court while Obama was in office.

Windsor, who was from New York, often said that she fought her battle in memory of her wife Thea Clara Spyer, who died in 2009. Windsor and Spyer married in 2007 after some 40 years together as a couple.

When Spyer died, she left her estate to Windsor, who then sought to claim federal estate tax exemptions that exist for surviving spouses. Windsor was barred from obtaining the exemption under DOMA, which defined "marriage" as excluding same-sex couples.

Windsor sought a refund of over $300,000 dollars but was denied by the IRS. Her lawyers argued that DOMA violated equal protection.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, joining the liberals, wrote the 5-4 opinion striking down the law that he said placed "same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage." Kennedy said that the law "demeans" same-sex couples "whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects."

"Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways," Kennedy wrote.

Windsor was survived by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor.

"I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back," Kasen-Windsor said in a statement.

In a statement from Windsor's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, Kaplan said representing Windsor "was and will always be the greatest honor of my life."

"She will go down in the history books as a true American hero. With Edie's passing, I lost not only a treasured client, but a member of my family. I know that Edie's memory will always be a blessing to Rachel, myself, and Jacob. I also know that her memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBT person on this planet, but to all who believe in the concept of b'tzelem elohim, or equal dignity for all," she said.

GLAAD, an LGBT media monitoring organization, also remembered Windsor on Twitter, saying: "Edie Windsor was a hero and her contributions to the fight for equality and acceptance will be remembered forever."

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/12/polit ... index.html
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Postby Affillate » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:22 am

Well I put my postal vote in the mailbox today for Australia's SSM Plebiscite Survey.

For those unaware, this idea was blocked by the opposition in parliament late last year not because they're against it, but because it's huge waste of money (something like $122 million) on a non-legally binding result that the Australian Government doesn't have to make any action on, let alone is quite sad that this issue has to be 'voted on', and includes non-LGBTQ+ people whose lives it has no impact on, it should just be put through the parliament.

Well a couple months back it was resurrected again, and challenged in the high court, who didn't turn it down finding it legal and allowing it to go ahead. So the campaigns started up in the last few weeks with the survey's starting to hit mailboxes this week for a result to be in on November 15, and as predicted it's stirred up the ugly side from both campaigns. I personally can't wait for it to be over with, Getting married is certainly not high on my agenda anyway but I can recognise the right of anyone to have that option if they want it, it's just sad that it's come to this.

It centres on reversing the change made to our Marriage Act 1961 back in 2004 by the Howard government to state specifically 'between a man and a woman', and asks 'Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?'. One of the recent controversies was an ad from the 'No' campaign, featuring three ladies trying to angle it from the 'think of the children' stance and bringing irrelevance into the issue by talking about things like the 'safe schools' program and 'my son was told he could wear a dress next year if he feels like it' :roll: That's a transgender/non binary issue lady.

The Yes side has been fighting back, as they should rightly so having right of reply, but then some are taking it to levels like asking for the doctor featured in the ad to lose her job over stating her opinion. It was similar to when there was outcry and calls to change the name of Margaret Court arena when there was the big hoo-hah over her publicly refusing to fly with QANTAS over their support of SSM a few months ago, and got absolutely ridiculed by tv show The Project over it.

Their argument is that some of these adverts or things coming from the no side are incredibly damaging to the mental health and self worth of some LGBTQ+ people who may be vulnerable to this kind of open public debate (amidst all effort to make it as civil as possible, theres always potential for it to become ridiculous), which was another reason why the plebiscite is such a crap idea. Also that some of these statements or adverts are spewing some outright lies and the like.

That's a valid point, but then OTOH, Personally I kindof feel like they're doing such a good job of clutching at straws and making themselves look absolutely stupid, let them have at it ('You can say no' - of course you can, whatever), but then maybe I just have a thicker skin. Plus as bad as this way of achieving Marriage Equality in Australia is, it makes sense for the Yes side to combat the crap spewing out of the no side with information and try and get the best outcome of the survey so hopefully it just sails through, but at risk of riling up undecided voters into voting no for perceived 'bullying' I guess on the other side of the coin.

I Dunno, its a little bit of a grey issue, but looking forward to it being over with and hopefully can stop being embarrassed by my country's dragging the chain on this front by the end of the year if they can get their crap together.

Some links:
Respectful Debate has not happened in Postal survey vote
Parody of the 'You can say No' Ad
Comedian Josh Thomas starts #Theygettovote to share stories of homophobia which 'dosent exist much in Australia' according to ACL's Lyle Shelton
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Postby Hugo » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:55 am

Brazilian Judge Sparks Outrage By Approving Gay Conversion Therapy

A Brazilian judge’s decision to approve gay conversion therapy is raising controversy in the South American nation.

Last week, Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital of Brasília, issued a ruling overturning a 1999 decision by the Federal Council of Psychology forbidding psychologists from offering treatments that claim to cure gay people of their homosexuality.

The ruling was in response to an action brought by psychologist Rozangela Justino, an evangelical Christian who had her license revoked in 2016 after she offered to “convert”gays to heterosexuality, according to the Guardian.

The outlet says Justino told Brazilian reporters in 2009 that homosexuality was a “disease” and that she felt “directed by God to help people who are homosexual.”

Since last week’s ruling, Brazilian pop stars and gay-rights activists are protesting de Carvalho’s decision.

Toni Reis, who heads Brazil’s National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance, said he plans to appeal the ruling at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, according to the Associated Press.

Brazilian superstar Ivete Sangalo also protested the decision on Instagram, and said calling homosexuality a disease is an “absurdity.”

People practicing so-called gay conversion therapy often have a religious motivation, as Justino did.

Methods used range from talk therapy, to electric shocks, to treating homosexuality as if it’s an addiction like drugs or alcohol ― which it’s not.

Dr. Jack Drescher, a leading specialist and critic of conversion therapy practices, told HuffPost the reason there isn’t a standard set of practices is because “none of them really work.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gay ... fdf508e2e2
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Postby Serby » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:59 pm

Ugh ugh ugh. They should be put there. Gay conversion therapy is real life Clockwork Orange, what they do there is nothig but a torture.
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Postby Fan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:01 pm

Gay conversion therapy is one of the sickest and most outrageous things I have heard about. The fact that people actually believe in it is just beyond vile and it should never be approved.
Just thinking about it makes my blood boil and makes me feel sad at the same time. Even if something like that would work, why the F*** would you do that. Let gay man just live their life. I'm perfectly happy with the way I am.
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Postby Bojan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:36 pm

Fan wrote:I'm perfectly happy with the way I am.
Some people aren't. Because of religion and other factors. It goes without saying that this is wrong, though. Instead of trying to explain to them that they should accept themselves the way they are, they are telling them that they can change. And they can't. A huge step backwards.
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Postby Fan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:59 pm

Bojan wrote:
Fan wrote:I'm perfectly happy with the way I am.
Some people aren't
Yes, I know! I was one of those people for the longest time.
Like you said though, conversion therapy is not going to solve that. AT ALL. It will actually make you feel even worse about yourself, as your are being told that who you are is wrong and should be cured.
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Postby RayRay » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:21 pm

Fan wrote:
Bojan wrote:
Fan wrote:I'm perfectly happy with the way I am.
Some people aren't
Yes, I know! I was one of those people for the longest time.
So was I. I have deep respect for teenagers who come out of the closet.
Last edited by RayRay on Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wayne » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:24 pm

I'd understand if it was a public vote - I wouldn't like it, but I'd understand - but judges are meant to be the moral compass of a society and this to me is shocking.
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Postby BlueScorpion » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:55 pm

Honestly, Brazil feels like a lost cause.
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Postby Affillate » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:49 am

Wayne wrote:I'd understand if it was a public vote - I wouldn't like it, but I'd understand...
Speaking of, this SSM Postal vote farce in Australia is getting even more ridiculous by the day, and there are roughly 45 Days left to get those surveys in. :roll:

We've had skywriters writing 'Vote NO' in the sky (which some have snapchatted and changed to be for the yes side :P), there was a 'Straight Lives Matter' rally over the weekend which had a grand old turnout of about 20 people :lol: . We've had former Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week (he has publically spoken about being on the no side) headbutted by a random who was wearing some kindof marriage equality badge but later said it was purely coincidental and the assault was merely cause he didn't like Abbott and took the opportunity whilst a bit drunk or something (everyone up in arms over how this fuels the fire of the No sides claims of bullying by the yes campaigners).

Then we have claims of some surveys being sent to the wrong addresses and whether some people may break the law by opening them and doing a vote on someones behalf, how that could be policed and also that some surveys are being stolen and binned, You can see through the envelope, don't post your barcode on social media as it invalidates the vote, don't write anything else on the paper except marking a box as it invalidates the vote... all calling into question what the end result integrity of this whole exercise will be. Oh and apparently some of the barcodes contain the combination 'BUMSEX' - Yes that's right. :lol: :roll:

The AFL and NRL footy organisations have thrown their support behind yes as well - but much like QANTAS it has some people debating over businesses having a stance in political issues - it was brought up on the AFL Footy Show by some back and forth between Sam Newman and Eddie McGuire.

Oh and the latest furore - People outraged over the Yes campaigns random text messages asking for a Yes vote - prompting the 'how DARE they text my private number telling me what to do!' and 'I was going to vote yes - but now you can shove your vote because of this harrassment!' types who lets face it were probs never going to vote yes in the first place and using this as grandstanding opportunity to spout some of their crap.

Anyways... We have a ways to go before the result... :-?
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Postby Fan » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:17 pm

Wow, that Australian situation seems like it's becoming very messy- from both parties. I am still note sure what I think about this poll in general, I obviously hope for a good result but I kind of think this should have been decided in parlement (and besides that, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that Australia hasn't done this yearss ago).

It just seems to bring the worst in people, I mean, what kind of low life do you have to be to be active and campaign for a 'no' vote? What the heck. You have to be truly miserable to put time and effort in a project to make sure that people who love each other cannot and will not marry. And I simply can't at a 'Straight Lives Matter' rally :lol: :roll: Was that organised by the same people idiots that shout 'White Lives Matter' movement? Utterly bullocks.
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Postby Hugo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:19 pm

And that's why when it comes to human rights they should never, NEVER be up for referendums.
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Postby Affillate » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:04 pm

Hugo wrote:And that's why when it comes to human rights they should never, NEVER be up for referendums.
And it's not even a referendum, just an opinion poll that isn't politically binding. It's being done through the ABS instead of the AEC, I think it was because that option was blocked by Labor party last year but could be wrong. If it ended up with the AEC it could've been a by-paper question during last year's federal election.

Instead it's in the hands of the ABS, who had a bit of a embarrassing issue with the online process for the 2016 Census, and I read somewhere they're pulling staff off the team working on the 2021 Census and getting that all ready, to work on organising this SSM postal vote.

In other news, just in the AFL/NRL 'should sports be politically neutral' debacle, Macklemore is performing 'Same Love' at this Sunday's NRL grand final, and people are calling to ban it, including you guessed it, Tony Abbott. Hypocritical on one hand given the freedom of speech mantra from the no side. The NRL isn't backing down though.

Tony Abbott backs call to ban same sex anthem from NRL grand final

Tony Abbott is mad that Macklemore is performing Same Love
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Postby Bojan » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:54 am

Homophobia is not going anywhere, unfortunately. It's on the rise in many liberal countries. The same goes for sexism, racism, nationalism... Fight for human rights is a never-ending story.
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Postby Fan » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:26 am

I read this article in the paper yesterday about Greece and how child refugees are being expoided by older men to have sex with them. I am sure it happens a lot more and it's not something new, but it has made me so, so angry. These guys are 14/15/16 and have already experienced some many traumas and then you have these disgusting old man who pay them 20 euros to sleep with them :( These kids don't have any money or food, so they feel like they "have" to do it, but it's the most **** up thing..
Worst thing was that one of the men who abuse them (yes, I am just calling it abuse) said something like 'I give these guys food and a shower, so I help them' :roll: I don't think my eyes have ever rolled so hard. You absolute piece of trash.
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Postby Mainshow » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:06 am

Yesterday, the first same-sex marriage was performed in Germany ♡
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Postby spiritboy » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:36 pm

An Italian director was attacked and beaten because of his homosexuality and his latest film in Rome, Italy. :(
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Postby Affillate » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:37 am

Well Macklemore performed Same Love at the NRL Grand Final last Sunday and was well received, the song topped the ITunes charts and there's talk of it might even return to #1 on the ARIA chart this week where it peaked previously in early 2013. youtube link below plus here is his whole medley on Dailymotion.



EDIT: charts just came out, Reentered at #4, whilst Glorious has moved up a spot to #2.
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Postby BlueScorpion » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:45 pm

Fan wrote:I read this article in the paper yesterday about Greece and how child refugees are being expoided by older men to have sex with them. I am sure it happens a lot more and it's not something new, but it has made me so, so angry. These guys are 14/15/16 and have already experienced some many traumas and then you have these disgusting old man who pay them 20 euros to sleep with them :( These kids don't have any money or food, so they feel like they "have" to do it, but it's the most **** up thing..
Worst thing was that one of the men who abuse them (yes, I am just calling it abuse) said something like 'I give these guys food and a shower, so I help them' :roll: I don't think my eyes have ever rolled so hard. You absolute piece of trash.
I finished seeing a documentary about child abuse in Pakistan. What you described is what happens there as well. I am beyond shocked at how complacent everyone seems to be about this. Even kids can be abusers themselves at the age of 10. :o
I simply can NOT believe what I just saw and heard. :(

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Postby Hugo » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:18 pm

Trump's one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a one-two punch elating religious conservatives, President Donald Trump's administration is allowing more employers to opt out of no-cost birth control for workers and issuing sweeping religious-freedom directions that could override many anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and others.

At a time when Trump finds himself embattled on many fronts, the two directives — issued almost simultaneously on Friday — demonstrated the president's eagerness to retain the loyalty of social conservatives who make up a key part of his base. Leaders of that constituency were exultant.

"President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

Liberal advocacy groups, including those supporting LGBT and reproductive rights, were outraged.

"The Trump administration is saying to employers, 'If you want to discriminate, we have your back,'" said Fatima Goss Graves, president of National Women's Law Center.

Her organization is among several that are planning to challenge the birth-control rollback in court. The American Civil Liberties Union filed such a lawsuit less than three hours after the rules were issued.

"The Trump administration is forcing women to pay for their boss' religious beliefs," said ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri. "We're filing this lawsuit because the federal government cannot authorize discrimination against women in the name of religion or otherwise."

Xavier Becerra, the Democratic attorney general of California, said he planned to file a similar lawsuit as soon as feasible. Other Democratic attorneys general said they were mulling the same step.

Both directives had been in the works for months, with activists on both sides of a culture war on edge about the timing and the details.

The religious-liberty directive, issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, instructs federal agencies to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are being violated. The guidance effectively lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove that their beliefs about marriage or other topics that affect various actions are sincerely held.

"Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law," Sessions wrote.

In what is likely to be one of the more contested aspects of the document, the Justice Department states that religious organizations can hire workers based on religious beliefs and an employee's willingness "to adhere to a code of conduct." Many conservative Christian schools and faith-based agencies require employees to adhere to moral codes that ban sex outside marriage and same-sex relationships, among other behavior.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law firm, called it "a great day for religious freedom." But JoDee Winterhof of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights group, depicted the two directives as "an all-out assault, on women, LGBT people and others" as the administration fulfilled a "wish list" of the religious right.

The new policy on contraception, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, allows more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections — another step in rolling back President Barack Obama's health care law that required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost.

Employers with religious or moral qualms will also be able to cover some birth control methods, and not others. Experts said that could interfere with efforts to promote modern long-acting implantable contraceptives, such as IUDs, which are more expensive.

The top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said the birth-control rollback was despicable.

"This administration's contempt for women reaches a new low with this appalling decision to enable employers and health plans to deny women basic coverage for contraception," she said.

On the Republican side, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed the decision, calling it "a landmark day for religious liberty."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trumps-o ... 03345.html
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Postby Wayne » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:13 pm

NHS patients to be asked about sexuality

Health professionals in England are to be told to ask patients aged 16 or over about their sexual orientation, under new NHS guidelines.

NHS England said no-one would be forced to answer the question but recording the data would ensure that "no patient is discriminated against".

The guidance applies to doctors and nurses, as well as local councils responsible for adult social care.

A spokeswoman said: "It will have no impact on the care [people] receive."

She added: "All health bodies and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care are required under the Equality Act to ensure that no patient is discriminated against."

She said the information would help NHS bodies comply with equality legislation by "consistently collecting, only where relevant, personal details of patients such as race, sex and sexual orientation."

'Intrusive and offensive'

NHS England recommends health professionals - such as GPs and nurses - ask about a person's sexual orientation at "every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists".

But the Family Doctor Association said it was "potentially intrusive and offensive" for GPs to monitor people's sexuality.

Chairman Dr Peter Swinyard told the BBC that for older patients in particular, sexuality "doesn't affect health outcomes or care".

He said that GPs tend to know patients' sexuality, or would ask, if it was relevant to their medical condition.

For example, patients at a sexual health clinic are likely to be asked, but not those attending a wart clinic.

He added: "Given the precious short amount of time a GP has with a patient, sexuality is not relevant."

He said there were "relatively few medical conditions" that it affected.

Legal obligation

NHS England said the data was already being collected in many areas but that the new guidance makes it standard, and that it expects sexual orientation monitoring to be in place across England by April 2019.

Under the guidance, health professionals are to ask patients: "Which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself?".

The options include heterosexual or straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, other sexual orientation, not sure, not stated and not known.

NHS England said lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people were "disproportionately affected" by health inequalities such as poor mental health and a higher risk of self-harm and suicide.

It said public bodies had a legal obligation to pay regard to the needs of LGB people under the Equality Act 2010.

"Collecting and analysing data on sexual orientation allows public sector bodies to better understand, respond to and improve LGB patients' service access," the guidance states.

'Hugely important step'

Paul Martin, chief executive of Manchester's LGBT Foundation, which worked with NHS England and others to develop sexual orientation monitoring, said he was "so proud" of the new standard.

He said earlier this week: "If we're not counted, we don't count."

The launch of sexual orientation monitoring was a "hugely important step in the right direction" towards addressing LGB inequality in health and social care, he said.

However, the foundation's good practice guide for healthcare professionals concedes that "some people will feel uncomfortable asking or being asked" about their sexuality.

It warns: "It would not be appropriate to ask someone's sexual orientation out loud in a busy reception area."

If a patient does not want to disclose their sexuality, "not stated" would be recorded as their response.

The guidance also says patients who are not able to declare their sexual orientation, for example if they require specialist mental capacity care, would be recorded as "not known".

Former Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan said that "what looks good on paper... actually when translated into real life becomes very intrusive".

She told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "Could it be appropriate in some circumstances about some conditions or problems that people come to see their doctors about?

"But clearly (for) the majority you wonder why on earth they need to know."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41625402
I like it, a good step forward - some won't like being asked the question but there's no obligation to answer it. I suppose the bigger challenge here is what comes after you answer "yes, I'm LGB".

Also, what are they doing about the rest of the sexuality and gender spectrum?
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Postby Guru » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:42 pm

This man says he was tortured for 12 days in Chechnya just for being gay.

https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/920326544165179393
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Postby menime123 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:23 am

Australians decisively support same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage supporters celebrate the result in Melbourne
Australians have voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a historic non-binding poll.

The vote showed 61.6% of people favour allowing same-sex couples to wed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

More than 12.7 million people - about 79.5% of eligible voters - took part in the eight-week postal survey.

PM Malcolm Turnbull said the "overwhelming" result meant his government would aim to change the law in parliament before Christmas.

"[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," he said after the result was announced.

"They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it."

Supporters began celebrating the result in public spaces across Australia on Wednesday, waving rainbow flags and singing and dancing.

Mr Turnbull, a same-sex marriage supporter, is facing debate within his government over what the parliamentary bill should include.

Some conservative MPs are pushing for the the bill to include exemptions that would allow businesses opposed to same-sex marriage to refuse goods and services for weddings.
Source: BBC News and good bloody common sense.

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Postby JSparksFan » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:22 am

Yay at the Australia vote! :D
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