Google Unblocks "Bisexual"
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Without fanfare Tuesday, internet search giant Google quietly unblocked "bisexual" from its search engine results. Faith Cheltenham, a Los Angeles based web media producer who's also the President of BiNet USA, the national non-profit advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual and fluid Americans, said “It’s not every day one of the biggest companies in the world changes its mind, but we are thankful that Google now sees bisexual people just like everyone else. It will take time for bisexual search terms to be ranked as they were before the ban, but now bisexual people and their allies have a fighting chance to be seen, heard, and understood.”
Google had associated “bisexual” with pornography and the search giant added the term or associated word groupings to its list of banned terms in 2009. According to Cheltenham, Bisexual advocacy or resources organizations and community groups that catering to bisexuals saw a significant drop in search rankings. Cheltenham's group successfully petitioned Google to change its policies. After Google unblocked the term “bisexual,” phrases such as “bisexual quotes,” “bisexual rights,” and “bisexual parenting” are now automatically suggested to Google users as of this month.
GOP Senators Introduce Legislation That Would Prohibit Same-Sex Marriage On Military Bases
Specifically, the bill would (1) prevent military chaplains from being forced to perform a marriage ceremony if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience and (2) prohibit marriage or marriage-like ceremonies at military facilities that are not a union between one man and one woman.
“The Defence of Marriage Act remains law, and as policy changes are implemented by the Department of Defence, the statute must be followed,” Wicker said. “This legislation also protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains who are serving our nation in the Armed Forces.”
“President Obama and his administration are dismissing their responsibility to uphold the law of the land by unilaterally deeming DOMA unworthy of enforcement,” said Inhofe. “At the same time, since the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, they have begun to pressure military chaplains to fall in line with their liberal same-sex marriage agenda. This bill protects military chaplains from being forced to go against their conscience and religious beliefs in regard to this issue. This is something the chaplains that serve this country need and deserve.”
In June, the first public same-sex civil union was performed at the U.S. Joint Base McGuire-Dix located near Lakehurst, N.J. A private commitment ceremony was held previously in May at Fort Polk in Louisiana, although civil unions nor same-sex marriages are legal in the state.
Last year, the Department of Defence authorised military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in accordance with state law. The authorisation allows military chaplains to participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize same-sex marriage.
The Department of Justice stopped defending DOMA in federal court actions after a determination by both President Obama and U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder last spring.
Congressional GOP leaders, angered by what they labeled a blatant disregard for prescribed constitutional duties by the administration replaced the Justice Department lawyers with a team of outside private lawyers paid for by the House of Representatives to continue to defend the statue in federal court actions.
A spokesperson for the administration Wednesday declined to comment on the proposed legislation.
New Report Outlines Wide-Sweeping Inequalities Faced by LGBT Americans-
WASHINGTON -- With the presidential election a mere two months away, the stakes are high for the estimated nine million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans whose daily lives are limited by a lack of federal protections. According to a new publication released today, most LGBT Americans live in a two-tier system where they must navigate conflicting state laws with the federal government’s refusal to offer the most basic securities, such as employment non-discrimination and anti-bullying protections.
An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans is a primer introducing the major areas in which unfair laws and stigma create extra burdens for LGBT Americans. The resource was developed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Log Cabin Republicans, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), National Stonewall Democrats and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
“LGBT Americans want the same chance as everyone else to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, and take care of their loved ones,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Unfortunately, unfair laws, lack of legal protections, and outdated prejudices stand in the way of these bedrock American values. We must work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans, guiding them to fairness and equality.”
The past three years have brought historic gains: openly gay and lesbian servicemembers now are able to serve their country; LGBT people are included in the federal hate crimes law; and more states are passing or expanding laws which aim to protect LGBT individuals from bullying in schools and discrimination in housing and employment. However, as detailed in An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans details, LGBT Americans are simply still not equal under federal law.
Many LGBT people experience discrimination when just going about their daily activities–whether eating at a restaurant with their families or friends, trying to obtain safe, clean housing or applying for a loan. Contrary to popular belief, federal legislation does not protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, credit or employment. LGBT people also lack such protections in most states. LGBT workers often cannot extend their health insurance coverage to their partners or children. Without family and marriage tax deductions, LGBT families pay additional taxes but have access to fewer benefits like Social Security survivor benefits. Due to these and myriad other inequalities, LGBT people are more likely to live in poverty and suffer from health disparities.
“With all of the media and political attention on marriage, very few Americans understand the full extent of the inequality LGBT Americans face every day,” said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats. “Kids in foster care are denied loving and qualified parents for no other reason than because those parents are gay or lesbian. Older LGBT Americans live in poverty because they’re denied access to Social Security survivor benefits. This resource highlights all of these issues and more in an accessible and easy to read manner.”
“LGBT or straight, Republicans are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free society, and that equal opportunity is essential to the American dream. This report will be a valuable tool to persuade Americans of all political stripes of the need for equal protection for all families, including gay and lesbian servicemembers and veterans,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, R. Clarke Cooper.
“LGBT Americans want to serve their country as civic leaders, elected officials, members of the military and volunteers. We're doing so in greater numbers than ever before, but there is still a glass ceiling of prejudice that keeps us from reaching our full potential,” said Denis Dison, vice president of communications for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.
“The U.S. has never had an openly LGBT member of the president's Cabinet, nor an out U.S. Senator. There are no openly gay governors, and more than a dozen states still have no openly LGBT state legislators. We're working to level the playing field for LGBT Americans who want to serve their communities.”