European Parliament Approves Resolution Declaring EU An LGBT ‘Freedom Zone’

European Parliament
European Parliament
European Parliament in Brussels (screen capture via France 24)

In a lop-sided vote, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Wednesday announcing the 27-member European Union is a “freedom zone” for LGBTQ people.

The  declaration came about after two years of rising homophobic animus in Poland and other member countries.

From AP News:

The parliament announced Thursday that there were 492 ballots in favor of the resolution and 141 against in a vote that came after a debate in a session of parliament in Brussels on Wednesday.

The resolution came largely in reaction to developments over the past two years in Poland, where many local communities have adopted largely symbolic resolutions declaring themselves free of what conservative authorities have been calling “LGBT ideology.”

These towns say they are seeking to protect traditional families based on unions of men and women, but LGBT rights activists say the designations are discriminatory and make gays and lesbians feel unwelcome. The areas have come to be colloquially known as “LGBT-free zones.”

The government of Poland clapped back saying they have a right to protect their ‘traditional family values.’

The Polish government also claimed to have lower hate crime statistics than other Western European countries. But, since there’s no mention of LGBTQ people in that country’s penal code, the authorities don’t keep track of homophobic attacks. So, there’s no telling how many anti-LGBTQ crimes are committed.

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, won reelection last year embracing anti-LGBTQ policies. During the campaign, he remarked that LGBTQ “ideology” is more dangerous than communism.

Read the full article.

Harry Styles: Black, White, Gay, Straight, Transgender – I Love Every Single One Of You

(Harry Styles – photo: Kate Elizabeth via Flickr)

Former One Direction singer Harry Styles, now touring in support of his debut solo album which hit #1 in the US and UK, gave an impassioned speech on behalf of LGBT folks this weekend in Stockholm, Sweden.

“If you are black, if you are white, if you are gay, if you are straight, if you are transgender – whoever you are, whoever you want to be, I support you and I love every single one of you.”

During an interview on French television earlier this year, Harry was asked about LGBT+ equality being political, and his answer was totally on point.

“That doesn’t feel like politics to me,” he said. “Stuff like equality feels much more fundamental. I feel like everyone is equal. That doesn’t feel like politics to me.”

Watch Harry’s pro-LGBT speech below:

House LGBT Caucus Launches #WeAreWithYou Campaign

In observation of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), and the recent wave of anti-LGBT rights legislation introduced at state and federal level, the House Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is launching a video campaign to show support for the LGBT community.

Via press release:

Featuring over 25 members of the LGBT Congressional Equality Caucus, Rep. Maloney released a video titled “We’re With You,” which is aimed at showing solidarity and support for LGBT equality at a time when many federal, state and local leaders are advancing blatantly discriminatory policy proposals.

These proposals have far-reaching consequences beyond simply legalizing discrimination, including reinforcing feelings of isolation and desperation among already targeted populations. One suicide helpline for trans people has reported that call volume has doubled since the passage of HB 2 in North Carolina. The video aims to combat this trend and echoes this year’s IDAHOT theme of mental health and wellness.

“Discrimination has no place in the law, and these attempts to legalize hate are shameful. These laws tell LGBT people that who they are or who they love makes them less valuable as human beings – and that’s just wrong,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), a Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

“I started this campaign because, from North Carolina to Missouri, I want LGBT Americans to know that they are not alone. So I am asking my colleagues in Congress and folks across the country to join me and tell our LGBT brothers and sisters, ‘we’ve got your back, and we’re going to keep fighting for you until we win.’”

North Carolina: Mexican Restaurant Pescado’s Burritos Makes Bathrooms Unisex For All

While the new, anti-LGBT law HB 2 in North Carolina instructs private business owners that they may have to “police” their bathrooms to make sure patrons who use them access the “biologically correct” space, Mexican restaurant Pescado’s Burritos in Brevard, North Carolina, has chosen to address the issue by making both of their patron’s bathrooms unisex.

We have UNISEX bathrooms because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations.

And since we have a lot of our friends, community members, and family members coming to see us, we want to provide a safe and comfortable place for everyone, including: Dads with daughters, Moms with sons, Parents with disabled children, Those in the LGBTQ community, Adults with aging parents who may be mentally or physically disabled.

THANK YOU for helping us to provide a safe environment for EVERYONE!

The two bathrooms are each “one person” non-gender specific, so no matter which a patron uses it’s all good.

Of course, all around the world businesses have learned to do this. I don’t know why more businesses don’t do this.

The response on Facebook has been overwhelmingly positive. Bravo, Pescado’s Burritos!

McDonalds Taiwan Ad Features Son Coming Out To Dad

A new ad spot from McDonalds Taiwan has gotten a lot of attention for it’s depiction of a young man coming out to his father.

The short video shows a young man passing his coffee cup to his dad. Written on the side of the cup – “I like boys.”

The stern father looks upset and leaves his son at the table. But soon, the father returns, picks up his son’s cup of coffee, and adds to the son’s written comment so that it reads, “I accept that you like boys.”

As warm and fuzzy as it is, some folks on the religious right in Taiwan are not happy about the commercial.

From Business Insider:

The Facebook video has now been viewed more than 3.6 million times, with the original post gaining more than 92,000 likes, and 11,800 shares.

However, not all viewers support the ad’s heartwarming message.

The secretary general of the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family, Chang Shou-yi, has called for a McDonald’s boycot following the ad, reports Shanghaiist.

“Because McDonald’s is frequented by many children, it is especially important to oppose the promotion of same-sex behavior,” Chang said in a statement on the ad. The Alliance “rebukes and boycotts all enterprises that are polluting the next generation.”

Despite the hate, social media response to the ad has been overwhelmingly positive, both in Shanghai and as it has crossed over to Western media outlets.

Taiwan is considered one of the most progressive countries in Asia. While same-sex marriage is not yet legal there, recent polling shows over 70% support marriage equality.

You Can Play & New York Giants Team Up For Pro-LGBT Inclusive Message

The New York Giants team up with You Can Play for this pro-LGBT inclusion message from the N

“The New York Giants believe that all athletes should be afforded equal opportunity, and judged only by their talent, character and work ethic.”

From the You Can Play Foundation:

In addition to the video, You Can Play announced that the Giants will host a special You Can Play tailgate and game day event on December 20 when the Carolina Panthers visit New York. You Can Play has presented several times to Giants players, coaches and management on LGBT inclusion and creating a safe and inclusive locker room environment. The Giants Foundation also has provided a grant to support You Can Play’s work in fighting homophobia.

I’ll be curious to see two things: how quickly other NFL teams follow; and how this affects the possibility of an NFL player coming out in the near future.

Good start though. Congrats to the NY Giants – currently in first place in their division I might add…

Commercial: Dove Men+Care Includes Gay Dads In New “First Fatherhood Moments” Campaign

I guess you add another name for the haters to attempt to boycott.

Dove Men+Care has announced a new Father’s Day campaign – “First Fatherhood Moments” – that utilizes video clips of the first moment real dads’ (including a gay couple) realize they will soon be fathers.

Via press release:

Becoming a dad is a transformative experience – we found that 82% of men globally believe that having a child changes the way they think about what it means to be a man – and our new film celebrates the emotional strength 13 real men openly express upon learning they’re going to be a dad for the first time.

Ian and Darryl Colvin: the gay new dads embrace one another as they set eyes on the newborn baby boy they never thought they’d have, for the first time.

Commercial: Tylenol “How We Family”

Tylenol has launched a new ad campaign featuring a gay, biracial and immigrant families titled #HowWeFamily.

The campaign over the next three months will include in-depth videos on ten families as well as a microsite,

Clip description: “When were you first considered a family? We believe that family is not about who you love, but how. For over 60 years, TYLENOL® has cared for all families.”

Tony The Tiger Supports Gay Pride In Atlanta

Anti-gay forces are just now realizing that Kellogg’s cereal was a sponsor of Atlanta Pride last month, where the company ran an ad in the festival’s Pride Guide along with a very pro-LGBT/inclusive message:

“At Kellogg, we’re an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees’ sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged.”

Now you know this sent the haters into a state of abject horror.

Anti-gay CNS News covers the story, complete with homophobic outrage:

Kellogg’s was a sponsor of the Atlanta Gay Pride March and festival last month. Apparently, Tony the Tiger wants to make sure you and your kids “wear your stripes with pride,” gay pride that is.

According to the American Family Association’s (AFA) Facebook page, “[t]hey even put an ad in the ‘Pride Guide.'”…

But wait, there’s more. According to HRC’s Buyers Guide, Kellogg’s acquired a rating of 100, a perfect score, due to Kellogg’s efforts to support the LGBT community. Worst of all, though, the “PRIDE” ad didn’t even get the pun right. Tigers don’t belong in “prides,” let alone pride parades.

Folks all along the haters-sphere have started the usual calls for a boycott of Kelloggs, blah blah blah… which will end up like most of their boycotts – failing.