Panasonic a pioneer for LGBT rights in Japan

By : Wire Report
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TOKYO (AP) – For decades, Panasonic Corp. has shaped Japanese corporate tradition – be it morning exercise routines or lifetime employment. But don’t hold your breath waiting for other Asian businesses to emulate its latest policy announcement: Recognizing same-sex partnerships.

Much of Asia remains far behind the West in such attitudes. Panasonic’s move is rare, although bold, and seems unlikely to herald a sea change.

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Florida among states with anti-sodomy laws on the books

By : Wire Report
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Baton Rouge, La. (AP) — A dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books 10 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled they are unconstitutional.

One such state is Louisiana, where gay rights groups contend police have used anti-sodomy laws to target gay men. But state lawmakers sided with religious and conservative groups in refusing to repeal the law last week.

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French group helps young Muslims bridge gap between sexuality, religion

By : Wire Report
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Marseille, France (AP) – Growing up in Algeria, Shaira had almost everything a young man could wish for. But he also had a big secret.

In a land where homosexuality is still a crime and a sin, he was forced to live a secret life, hiding that he was gay from everyone – even his closest family.

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Romanian Orthodox Church: Marriage only between man, woman

By : Wire Report
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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – The Romanian Orthodox Church says it supports an initiative to change Romania’s constitution to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The statement comes amid concerns from some that the conservative East European nation will align with other EU nations and permit gay marriage. Romania currently does not recognize marriages between people of the same sex.

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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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Life in prison for Texas man accused of murdering transgender woman

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Tyler, Texas (AP) – A 21-year-old East Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for the killing of a transgender woman.

Smith County prosecutor Jacob Putman told the Lufkin Daily News that the evidence implicating Carlton Champion Jr. included Champion’s DNA being found in a car belonging to Ty Underwood.

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Indiana college gets LGBT law waiver

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. – A northern Indiana school is among the more than two dozen religiously affiliated colleges nationwide to receive exemptions from a federal law that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and employees from discrimination.

Bethel College President Gregg Chenoweth told the South Bend Tribune that the waiver doesn’t mean people who are attracted to the same sex are prohibited from attending or graduating from the Christian school in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, which has an enrollment of about 1,800. But he said they must be celibate, just as Bethel’s unmarried heterosexual students are expected to be. The same standard applies to employees, he said.

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Rest in Peace: Local hero Michael Moriarty takes his final bow

By : Stephen Miller
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michael moriartyLocal activist, writer, and spiritual leader Dr. Michael Moriarty passed away on Dec. 2 in his Winter Park home after a brief illness. He was 74. Michael was a retired professor, Zen monk, artist, actor, tour guide, gardener, and writer. He was well regarded in many local organizations in arts, politics, Zen Buddhism and the LGBT community.

Michael was born in Goshen, Indiana, on February 7, 1941. He earned his PhD in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1971. Michael made a career teaching college English, literature and even some Spanish and French at Valley City State University in North Dakota. After retiring in 1996, he moved to central Florida. He outlived many of his friends, who were lost to AIDS. Because of this, Michael maintained a lifelong commitment to living healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

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Obama’s marriage equality celebration, Caitlyn Jenner’s introduction make top 10 tweets of 2015

By : Wire Report
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San Francisco (AP) — Messages of love and gratitude shared by the boy band One Direction topped Twitter’s charts this year, eclipsing President Barack Obama’s celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage.

One Direction members accounted for half of the 10 most recirculated tweets, including the three most popular.

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Uprisings: Our new quiet terrorism

By : Billy Manes
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There was a day in my life when all new life seemed caught up in the politics of worthlessness, and I remember that day clearly. Having spent the better part of post-adolescence trying to bridge the gap between harmony and hostility, I did not know of the gun scourge, of the hatred, nor of the political machinations put in place to destroy that order and, in its face, murder people for the sake of a headline. Why should I have? I always understood the abortion battle to be one that took place personally, in a home, dangling in the well of a tear, lingering in a personal weight. Bang. And then they shot Dr. Gunn in Pensacola in 1993. And then I was on TV.

Why else would I have driven girlfriends to warzones, walked them through, kept silent and comforted them as if at home. There were actual people who thought their semen to be sacred (men); there were people who thought their excrement in ecstasy to be a thing of genius. I was not one of them. I lived and breathed for my friends; I never asked questions about wherefore and why. If you knew, you knew. You moved forward as briskly as forward allowed. This was not a true story. This was real life.

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Islamic State group targets gay men with brutal public killings

By : Wire Report
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REYHANLI, Turkey (AP) – Before a crowd of men on a street in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the masked Islamic State group judge read out the sentence against the two men convicted of homosexuality: They would be thrown to their deaths from the roof of the nearby Wael Hotel.

He asked one of the men if he was satisfied with the sentence. Death, the judge told him, would help cleanse him of his sin.

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Viewpoint: Around the world, Superpower failures

By : Rachel Wilson
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RachelWilson

Rachel Wilson

I’ve spent twenty-five years traveling to Russia. But I’ve never met a gay person there.

Through college, graduate school and work, I’ve roamed across this vast country – one larger than the surface area of Pluto – meeting hundreds of people in varied contexts and in myriad places. I’ve made friends – close ones – but no gay people. Statistics show that of course I’ve met gay people, I just don’t know it.

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