Politics & Issues

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caitlyn-jenner-espy-award-speech

Be sure you have a tissue handy before watching this clip. The tribute video preceding Caitlyn Jenner taking to the stage was beyond moving.

It began with Bruce’s early years then lead to his Olympic moments before ending with Caitlyn’s introduction and becoming a voice for the transgender community. Jon Hamm narrated the package.

The 65-year-old former Olympian took to the stage to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award after being introduced by US soccer player Abby Wambach. Caitlyn looked stunning in a form-fitting white Versace wrap dress.

She used the platform to further advocate for transgender rights, thank her family and give shout outs to those who preceded her in this transgender journey including Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. Watch below her moving speech at the 2015 ESPYs which begins roughly at the 16:00 mark.

watch after the jump

boy-scout-ban-on-gay-leaders

Two years after lifting the ban on gay boys to become scouts, the Boys Scouts Of America’s (BSA) 17-member executive committee unanimously approved a resolution to end the organization’s ban on openly-gay adults working as leaders. The 80-member National Executive Board will meet to ratify this resolution on Monday, July 27.

What does this all mean? It’ll prohibit regional governing councils or non-Troop entities such as boy scouts camps from discriminating against employees and volunteers based on their sexual orientation. It also allows for previously removed leaders to reapply for their positions.

While this is a great step forward, it’s still not perfect. Read below to find out why.

read more after the jump

russian-gays-holding-hands

After watching this clip, it’s evident that playing a game of Russian Roulette is safer than walking on the streets of Moscow, holding hands with another man.

In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision regarding marriage equality, two Russian men decided to show the world, the hostile climate the LGBT community still faces in other parts of the world. Followed by a man with a hidden camera, the reactions of Russian citizens are captured for this frightening social experiment.

I wasn’t surprised by the barrage of insults and stanky looks the men received, but I was shocked at a couple of confrontations that were physical. Watch the video below for a sobering reminder that extreme homophobia is very prevalent abroad.

watch the horrifying video after the jump

white-people-documentary

MTV takes a break from exploiting Teen Moms, binge-drinking Real World‘ers and virgins to focus on a more serious topic.

Whether it’s white guilt or white privilege, White People explores caucasians talking about their ‘whiteness.’ The documentary is spearheaded by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.

White People premieres on July 22 on the network. It follows five young white people around the country, getting their thoughts on the sensitive topic of race-relations. Check out the first trailer below. Uncomfortable doesn’t even begin to describe it.

watch after the jump

mormon-church-utah

How’s this for a surprising twist?

In an historic show of unity, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made a contribution to the Utah Pride Center program. It’s the first time, the Mormon church has donated money to the charity that supports homeless and low-income youth program.

“We are grateful to be able to serve your efforts in this worthy project and appreciate the work that you and others are doing related to this initiative.” – the LDS Church wrote in the grant letter.

read Utah Pride and Utah State Senator’s statement regarding the donation after the jump

gay-marriage

At 10:00 AM Eastern Time today, the US Supreme Court convened in its marble adorned chamber in the heart of Washington, DC. First up on the docket this morning was the announcement that everyone had been waiting for Chief Justice John Roberts to make – that Justice Anthony Kennedy had the opinion of the Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage case now decided exactly two years since the Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, and exactly twelve years since it struck down laws prohibiting sodomy. The decision was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy joined by liberal justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, were in the minority, each of them writing strident dissents.

Justice Kennedy, whose status as a gay rights hero was cemented today, was also the justice behind every single gay rights decision in the Court’s history, starting with Romer v. Evans which struck down discriminatory laws in Colorado, through to Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned statutes that criminalized gay sex, to U.S. v. Windsor, which forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage, and on to today, where he and his colleagues took the step many had hoped they would take two years ago when California’s Proposition 8 was before the justices.

Read the rest of this entry »

gay-is-ok

Earlier this week, Lush Cosmetics launched the #GayIsOk Campaign to raise awareness about the ongoing struggle for equality for LGBTI people around the world. In 76 countries, being gay is still illegal and in 10 countries it can cost you your life.

In conjunction with All Out, Lush has launched the campaign across their 825 stores it has worldwide. Profits from the sale of the Gold Bar, scented with their “love” fragrance, go to grassroots LGBTQ rights groups and their struggle for human rights. The bars will be on sale until July 4th.

Check out some photos from the campaign launch party from here in Vancouver below. Get your soap bar online or in store before the campaign is over!

Pictures after the jump…

jon-stewart-charleston-shooting

In a rare move, Jon Stewart skipped the jokes during his opening monologue on last night’s Daily Show. Typically, his team pokes fun at the recent headlines. In light of the Charleston, South Carolina church shootings which resulted in nine African-Americans deaths, Stewart broke character to deliver an emotional and impassioned speech.

“I have one job and it’s a pretty simple job — I come in in the morning and we look at the news and I write jokes about it. And then I make a couple of faces and like a noise, like a [noise] and it’s just cha-ching and I’m out the door. But I didn’t do my job today. So I apologize. I got nothin’ for you in terms of like jokes and sounds because of what happened in South Carolina.”

The 52-year-old comedian went on to point out how the media has already shied away from calling the murders a “terrorist attack.” He later took aim at South Carolina and the country as a whole. Check out the passionate clip below.

“The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves,” Stewart said. “Al Qaeda, all those guys – ISIS. They’re not sh-t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.”

watch clip after the jump

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