LGBT Rights

LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights, although legal protections and laws affecting LGBT people vary greatly by country or territory. LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following: government recognition of same-sex relationships (such as via same-sex marriage or civil unions), LGBT adoption, recognition of LGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation and student non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT children and/or students, immigration equality laws, anti-discrimination laws for employment and housing, hate crime laws providing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people, equal age of consent laws, and laws related to sexual orientation and military service.

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Ohio school board debates policy to ban discrimination against gay teachers

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A proposal to protect schoolteachers from being fired or otherwise treated differently on the basis of sexual orientation is dividing the state school board. [ Read more → ]
United Nations headquarters in New York.

UN conference provokes heated debate on gay rights

Friday, April 11, 2014
UNITED NATIONS -- Many countries at this week's U.N. population conference are objecting to the idea of enshrining the right of women to make their own sexual decisions, fearing it would tacitly condone same-sex relationships, the U.N. population chief said. [ Read more → ]

Ohio group seeking to overturn gay marriage ban to launch petition for gay rights act

Saturday, April 5, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A group pushing to have voters overturn Ohio's gay marriage ban says it is also collecting signatures to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment and housing. [ Read more → ]
Laverne Cox gives the keynote address at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, on Jan. 30, 2014 in Houston.

‘What’s between your legs?’ is the new ‘So what do you do in bed?’

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Transgender characters in entertainment were always around, but as the punch line. When it came to news, it was usually about a hate crime. And I can tell you from personal experience even that coverage had to be fought for, from Brandon Teena to Fred Martinez to Gwen Araujo. But increasingly, we are seeing transgender actors, activists, filmmakers, politicians and people from every walk of life coming out and telling their stories... [ Read more → ]
Pablo Martinez Monsivais,  APPresident Barack Obama in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

On eve of meeting with Pope Francis, Obama lectures Russia on LGBT rights

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday again took aim at Russia's anti-gay laws following talks with European Union and NATO leaders on Russia's military-backed annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. [ Read more → ]
Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps’ hate seen by some as helping to advance gay rights

Friday, March 21, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Fred Phelps Sr. led his small Topeka church for more than two decades in a bellicose crusade against gays and lesbians, saying they were worthy of death and openly declaring — often at military funerals — that the U.S. was doomed because of its tolerance of homosexuality. [ Read more → ]
Evangelists Billy (left) and Franklin Graham

Evangelist Franklin Graham: Putin is better on gay issues than Obama

Saturday, March 15, 2014
Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights. [ Read more → ]

Uganda human rights activists challenge anti-gay law in court

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
KAMPALA, Uganda -- Human rights activists on Tuesday petitioned Uganda's Constitutional Court to challenge the validity of an anti-gay measure that allows severe penalties against homosexuality. The activists - under a group called Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law - hope the... [ Read more → ]
Rick Bowmer, APTroy Williams speaks during an news conference and rally Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Protesters pushing for Utah to adopt a statewide anti-discrimination law protecting sexual and gender orientation returned to the state Capitol three weeks after they were arrested for blocking entrances to committee rooms.

Gay rights advocates return to Utah capitol demanding statewide protections

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — Protesters pushing for Utah to adopt a statewide anti-discrimination law protecting sexual and gender orientation returned to the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to call out lawmakers for suppressing the bill. [ Read more → ]
Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

Ky. House panel hears testimony on LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination bill

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A former police officer who claims he lost his job because of his sexual orientation joined gay rights advocates Wednesday in urging Kentucky lawmakers to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination in the workplace, in public places and housing. [ Read more → ]

LGBT rights activists jailed after protest at Idaho governor’s office

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
BOISE, Idaho — Twenty-three gay rights activists have been arrested after blocking the entrance to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office inside the Idaho Statehouse, the latest in a string of arrests related to protests over attempts to add anti-discrimination protections to Idaho law. [ Read more → ]
John Hanna, APIn this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 photo, Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas urges a crowd to work for the election defeat of socially conservative legislators during a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

Gay rights supporters in Kansas seek new anti-bias laws

Sunday, March 2, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Having won a key legislative fight with social conservatives in Kansas, gay rights advocates aren't content with simply blocking a measure they said would have encouraged businesses and government workers to refuse to serve gays and lesbians in the name of religious freedom. [ Read more → ]
GALZMartha Tholanah and members of GALZ legal team leaving the court on Wednesday after their victory.

Zimbabwe’s gay community wins a landmark court victory

Friday, February 28, 2014
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe’s LGBT community is celebrating a court victory in which authorities sought to shut down the country's main LGBT rights advocacy group. [ Read more → ]
Idaho arrests

Gay rights activists arrested again after Idaho capitol protest

Friday, February 28, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -- Gay rights activists were again led out of the Idaho Statehouse in shackles and taken to jail by bus Thursday after a renewed protest seeking to add anti-discrimination protections to Idaho law. [ Read more → ]
Phil Batt

Former Idaho governor urges lawmakers to pass statewide LGBT protections

Thursday, February 27, 2014
BOISE, Idaho — Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt is again urging the Legislature to add protections for gay, lesbian and transgender residents to the Idaho Human Rights Act. [ Read more → ]
J. Seth Anderson, via TwitterMembers of the LGBT community meet with Utah lawmakers on Feb. 26, 2014.

Utah lawmakers meet with LGBT community, hear of struggles, fears, discrimination

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — In an emotional gathering marked by tears, hugs and handshakes, a bipartisan group of more than Utah 20 lawmakers and officials met Wednesday night to hear gay and transgender people share personal experiences with discrimination. [ Read more → ]
Stephen Wandera, APUgandan pupils from different schools take part in an event organized by born-again Christians to celebrate the signing of a new anti-gay bill that sets harsh penalties for homosexual sex, at the Omega Healing Center outside of Kampala, in Uganda Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.

Kerry: U.S. launching new effort to combat anti-gay laws worldwide

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
WASHINGTON — Troubled by an anti-gay movement in Uganda and across much of the world, the U.S. is launching a new effort to combat what Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday as a threat to human rights. [ Read more → ]
Paul Kasonkomona

Zambia human rights activist acquitted after pro-gay remarks

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
JOHANNESBURG — Legal activists say a Zambian human rights worker has been acquitted in a Lusaka court of charges related to comments he made in support of the rights of gay people. [ Read more → ]
John Miller, APGay rights protesters march in the Idaho Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Boise, Idaho. At least 105 gay rights demonstrators participated in the event that sought to convince lawmakers to update the Idaho Human Rights Act with discrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. In addition to covering their mouths with one hand and maintaining virtual silence, many protestors held photocopied pictures of gay or lesbian teens who committed suicide.

More than 100 activists gather in Idaho seeking statewide LGBT protections

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BOISE, Idaho — At least 105 gay rights demonstrators filled the Capitol's basement corridor Tuesday seeking to convince Republican lawmakers to update the Idaho Human Rights Act with discrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation. [ Read more → ]

Tucson pizzeria reserves right to refuse service to Ariz. lawmakers

Friday, February 21, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A local pizzeria in Tucson, Ariz., has a message for state lawmakers who, on Thursday, approved legislation that allows business owners to assert their religious beliefs by refusing service to gays and others. [ Read more → ]
The Arizona state capitol in Phoenix.

Ariz. legislature approves bill allowing religious discrimination against gays

Thursday, February 20, 2014
PHOENIX -- The GOP-dominated Arizona House has approved a bill that would expand people's rights to claim their religious beliefs as a basis for refusing service to gays and others. [ Read more → ]
John Miller, APAbout two dozen protesters seeking to convince Idaho lawmakers to add discrimination protections for gays and lesbians to the state's Human Rights Act block the entrances to the Idaho Senate in Boise on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. At a similar protest on Feb. 3, 44 demonstrators were arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

Gay rights activists arrested in latest protest at Idaho state capitol

Thursday, February 20, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -- Gay rights activists were arrested and jailed after refusing to voluntarily lift an hours-long Senate blockade aimed at pressuring lawmakers into backing anti-discrimination protections. [ Read more → ]
LGBT rights advocates gather at the Missouri state capitol on on Feb. 19 for Equality Day.

LGBT rights advocates gather at Mo. capitol to lobby for statewide protections

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Show Me State’s annual Equality Day was held at the state capitol in Jefferson City on Wednesday, where dozens of LGBT and allied Missourians lobbied state lawmakers to support the Missouri Nondiscrimination (MONA) and Safe Schools Acts, which were recently introduced in both chambers. [ Read more → ]
John Miller, AP Some of the more than 200 demonstrators fill the rotunda of the Idaho Capitol on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 in another bid to convince Republican lawmakers to schedule a hearing on a bill to add discrimination protections for gays and lesbians to the Idaho Human Rights Act in Boise, Idaho.

Gay rights activists gather again at Idaho capitol seeking statewide protections

Monday, February 17, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -- More than 200 gay rights demonstrators descended on the Idaho Capitol, with placard-holding, flag-bearing activists filling multiple rotunda floors as they sought again to convince Republican lawmakers to hold a hearing on a bill to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. [ Read more → ]

‘Gay rights evolve on a global level’

Sunday, February 16, 2014
NBC's Harry Smith looks at the global evolution on gay rights for "Meet the Press" on Sunday, including interviews with Andy Cohen and Brian Boitano. [ Read more → ]
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