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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
Addiction Treatment and the Recovery Process By Matt Gonzales, writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical and mental health, job status and relationships. Once you’re hooked on a drug, your whole life revolves around it. Substance use disorders are common in the United States. Heroin use in […]
Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
LGBT Rights Around the World
Progress for LGBT rights in the United States is certainly important, but it’s also vital for the LGBT community to step back from time to time and examine the rights and struggles of LGBT people across the globe. Even as the LGBT community seeks its next steps beyond marriage equality in the United States, there are still many countries where being gay is still outlawed, subjecting the LGBT community to persecution, imprisonment, or worse. A number of countries continue to support and pass discriminatory laws against LGBT people, or simply do nothing to protect the rights of LGBT citizens.
It’s not all bad news, though: around the globe, as more LGBT voices emerge and communities struggle for equality, rights are progressing. Even in countries where you may not imagine LGBT issues finding wide public support, outdated laws are beginning to be overturned, and new legislation introduced to extend the rights of LGBT citizens.
Canada | LGBT Rights
Canada has long been a world leader when it comes to equal rights, with gay marriage legal since 2003 and protections in place to ban anti-LGBT bias and hate speech. A more recent law signals yet another step forward for the rights of LGBT citizens: the Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, passed in 2015, prevents mental health professionals in Ontario from “treating” patients for sexual orientation, putting a stop to damaging and ineffective practice of “conversion therapy” in the territory. Hopefully, we’ll soon see this law spread throughout the country to protect the LGBT community.
Ireland | LGBT Rights
As of 2015, Ireland has emerged as one of the most LGBT-friendly nations in the world: The nation passed laws allowing same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. It also passed the landmark Gender Recognition Act, which allows individual to change their gender on official documents by making a formal declaration of their “settled and solemn intent.” Ireland is only the fourth country to have this kind of law in the books.
Uganda | LGBT Rights
Uganda has a long history of oppression and violence towards its LGBT community, with laws against homosexuality briefly enacted in 2014 before being struck down by the country’s constitutional court. Many of the country’s LGBT citizens have fled in the face of these discriminatory laws, often finding the situation is not much better in surrounding countries. If there’s a positive to be found in Uganda, it’s this: when the anti-LGBT law was enacted, international support and government aid was widely withdrawn, indicating that the rest of the world refuses to support state-sponsored bigotry.
Uruguay | LGBT Rights
Uruguay may be a small country, but it’s big on LGBT freedom: homosexuality was decriminalized in 1934, while gay marriage has been legal since 2013. As of 2009, the country also gives transgender citizens the right to change their legal gender on official documents. Uruguay also joined the Global Equality Fund, a U.S.-based initiative that promotes LGBT rights around the world, and is set to host a global conference on LGBT rights in 2016.
Vietnam | LGBT Rights
Vietnam is undergoing a shift in LGBT rights. While homosexuality isn’t illegal in the country, it is largely taboo, and gender reassignment surgery is not legal. New legislation seems to indicate a way forward. Vietnam recently abolished its fine for ceremonial (but not legally recognized) same-sex wedding celebrations, and established a law allowing citizens who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to register under their new sex.
Global LGBT Rights
Even in countries where gay men and lesbians enjoy equal protections, there’s still progress to be made: for example, many Eastern European nations still require sterilization for trans people who wish to change their gender on official documents, enforcing the marginalization of trans people even as the LGBT community gains new rights. In many cases, progress in incremental, with LGBT citizens slowly gaining ground as political leadership and public opinion shift.
The U.S. LGBT community still has plenty of battles to fight at home when it comes to achieving full equality, but we should also remain aware of the struggles and successes of the global LGBT community. If you’re interested in finding out more about the global rights and struggles of LGBT people, the ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) is an excellent resource to learn about worldwide legislation on LGBT issues and find the latest international LGBT news.