LGBT issues

Alabama conservative, opposed to gay marriage, unmasked as sperm donor to lesbians in New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand -- A conservative Christian politician from Alabama has a secret life as a sperm donor for lesbian couples - even though he has campaigned against gay marriage.

American politician Bill Johnson has spent most of this year in Christchurch helping run the earthquake recovery, all the while using the online persona "chchbill" to meet women who want help to get pregnant.

Under that persona, he has discussed making donations to at least nine women without the knowledge of his family in the U.S.

NBA's new labor contract includes sexual-orientation protections

NEW YORK -- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today lauded the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, signed by the players' union and ratified Thursday by the NBA's board of governors, which includes language protecting players from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The league already has those protections in place for employees.

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MSMGF: New U.S. foreign policy on LGBT human rights to help in AIDS fight globally

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) applauds a series of announcements made by the United States government this week codifying the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBT people worldwide as official U.S. foreign policy.

BREAKING NEWS: Ninth Court of Appeals weighs two motions in Prop. 8 case | VIDEOS

SAN FRANCISCO – A three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grilled lawyers on both sides Thursday afternoon on two motions under appeal.

Judges Michael Daly Hawkins (a Clinton nominee), Stephen Reinhardt (a Carter nominee) and N. Randy Smith (a George W. Bush nominee) presided over the appeals court hearing.

In Australia, Queensland Parliament OKs civil unions

BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia -- The Queensland MPs have voted in favor of legalizing same-sex civil unions during an historical night in Parliament.

After almost four hours of debate Andrew Fraser's private member's bill was passed by a vote of 47 to 40.

The bill, introduced by Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser, enables same-sex couples to register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

In Nigeria, Senate passes harsh anti-gay bill

LAGOS, Nigeria – A draconian law that would criminalize all things gay was approved today by Nigeria’s Senate, paving the way for a vote by the House, where it is expected to pass.

President Goodluck Jonathan would likely sign the bill if it arrives on his desk, despite substantial international pressure to protect human rights in Nigeria.

The United Kingdom, for one, has threatened to cut aid to countries that violate the rights of LGBT citizens. The United States, under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has declared support for gay rights on a global scale.

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Adoption forum to urge child welfare agencies to include gay families

WASHINGTON – Bryan Samuels, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, will be joining the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), LGBT families and representatives from area child welfare agencies for an adoption forum on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The forum will recognize the close of National Adoption Month and call on child welfare professionals to include LGBT families, year-round, in their efforts to expand the pool of families for foster youth.

In Russia, St. Petersburg passes homophobic law to silence LGBT people

St. Petersburg became Russia's second city to pass a law banning so-called “gay propaganda.”

The law will not go into effect until it passes a third reading, though.

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Rights or righteousness? Seeking common ground on sexual-identity issues in church and society

(Editor’s note: To the casual observer, Evangelical Christians, the Vatican, African Anglicans and Muslims in half the planet are united in a hard line approach to “deviant” behavior (men who have sex with men MSM, intravenous drug use and commercial sex work) that may lead to higher risk for HIV infection. The institutional response has been to criminalize these populations while ignoring the advice of public health experts.

Paradoxes pervade gender issues' public face in Japan

Transgender people are popping up everywhere in the current Japanese media landscape. Whether it's appearing on variety shows or hawking soft drinks or makeup in TV ads, the current crop of "new-half" celebrities have established themselves in the mainstream in a way that has surprised many onlookers.

But what does this Japanese appetite for gay and transgender stars mean culturally?