Your own bi calendar 23-29 November

Make new bi-mates this week! Though the diary is a little thin this week… Wednesday night is the Leeds Bi Team social night at Wharf Compartments from 7pm. That day is also Manchester‘ s bi history group meeting. Get in touch via BiPhoria. Thursday night from 7. 30pm in London it’ s the Bi Meetup group at the O Bar in Soho: details here. […]

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City Council votes to add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 for AIDS Legacy/Memorial

by Shaun Knittel – SGN Associate Editor Good news for outgoing Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen this week. On Monday the City Council voted to add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 to help fund the initial planning process for an AIDS Legacy/Memorial. Also, Rasmussen’s office confirmed that there will be a $75,000 match in community support, for a total planning budget of $150,000 for the project Rasmussen gained support for within the past few weeks. ‘Most importantly,’ said Tobias Pulliam, legislative assistant to Rasmussen, ‘this is a community investment in planning for an AIDS Legacy Memorial Project in Seattle – and diverse stakeholder groups will be closely involved.’ Currently, Seattle does not have an HIV/AIDS memorial. Rasmussen told Seattle Gay News that it is important that this project include input and talent taken from across the generational divide but that the people who sh

White House endorses Equality Act Bill would add LGBT protections to Civil Rights Act

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The White House announced on November 10 that President Obama ‘strongly supports the Equality Act.’ The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration has been reviewing the bill ‘for several weeks.’ ‘Upon that review it is now clear that the administration strongly supports the Equality Act,’ he said. ‘That bill is historic legislation that would advance the cause of equality for millions of Americans.’ ‘We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the legislative process produces a result that balances both the bedrock principles of civil rights, like those I’ve just described, with the religious liberty that we hold dear in this country,’ Earnest added. The legislation was introduced simultaneously in the Sen

A year after BiCon: 12 months of a bi group

Last summer BiCon came to Leeds, complete with a workshop for local bisexuals to talk about getting a group off the ground. There was lots of enthusiasm if not many real Leeds area people along to the workshop – but there were just enough of us to make it happen, and with some flipchart sheets’ worth of suggestions about […]

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SPD Safe Place program rolls out to Starbucks stores in the Seattle area

Special to SGN – from Starbucks Corporation One of the first things Jim Ritter did when he became LGBTQ liaison officer for the Seattle Police Department earlier this year was to page through reports of hate crimes. The numbers indicated a possible modest uptick in attacks and menacing behavior aimed at the gay community. Anecdotally, however, Ritter was encountering something very different. ‘I’m getting calls from people saying it had happened to them or their friends,’ Ritter recalled. ‘I’m getting calls from people and they’re not matching up with the reports I have. I’d say, ‘Well, did you report these?’ and they’d say no. It was clear to me that this was a huge problem for us, because if we don’t know about it we can’t devote resources to it.’ That realization that hate crimes were more frequent than the numbers indicated prompted Ritter to create the Seattle Police Department Safe Place program. In addition, local social ju

Brace 8 redux: Houston rejects civil rights ordinance

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Houston voters have got decisively rejected the city’s civil rights ordinance passed in May 2014. The vote was not even close up, with 61% of voters within the No column. The Houston Equivalent Rights Ordinance (HERO) would have founded legal protections for 14 guarded classes: sexual orientation and sex identity, race, religion, sex, color, age, ethnicity, disability, national source, marital status, military status, genetic information, pregnancy, and family standing. In a nakedly political July ruling, the Texas Supreme Court purchased the City of Houston either to place the ordinance up for a election or repeal it outright. Competitors of the measure successfully demonized the city’s Transgender community, claiming how the measure would have allowed ‘perverts’ to invade women’s restrooms. ‘This was a campaign of fearmongering and deliberate lies, ‘ Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Annise

Proper rights Kennedy: Officials who don’t like same-sex marriage should resign

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Public authorities who can’t bring themselves to comply with the U. S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex relationship should resign, Supreme Court Proper rights Anthony Kennedy said at a Harvard Law School event. Kennedy, who have wrote both Supreme Court choices on marriage rights – Usa v. Windsor and Obergefell sixth is v. Hodges – made the comments in response to a question from a student. Does an official have the ‘authority to act based on her own judgment’ if she has doubts about the high court’s ruling, the student asked. Kennedy answered by acknowledging that officials may confront ‘difficult moral questions’ when they are usually asked to ‘enforce a legislation that they believe is morally tainted. ‘ Noting that very few judges resigned from their positions in Nazi German government, Kennedy said it will be preferable to resign rather than enforce repugnant laws. ‘Great

Leeds Celebrates A Year

Leeds Bi Group celebrate per year of meeting this Saturday using a birthday party at the Mesmac Centre upon Saturday. In its first twelve months the girls has met twice a month, pub Christmas and BiCon, taken component in the local Pride march and IDAHOBIT events and recently ran a good outreach stall to students in a local university freshers event. […]

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Wedding ceremonies on the up

Figures from Scotland show that in the very first three months of same-sex marriage getting legal in the nation, the number of weddings taking place went up – and not simply for same-sex couples. In the very first quarter of 2015, there were 3 or more, 889 weddings in total in Scotland. 462 were for same-sex young couples marrying. But the number of mixed-sex relationships was […]

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Texas court recognizes same-sex common law marriage

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer For the first time, a Texas court has recognized a same-sex common law marriage. In orders signed October 5, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ruled that Stella Powell and her partner Sonemaly Phrasavath met the legal requirements to be considered married under Texas law. Powell died last year, and her siblings filed suit to have her considered single because at the time of her death she could not have legally married her partner, Phrasavath. On the other hand, Phrasavath sued to be recognized as Powell’s common law wife. Common law marriage – sometimes called ‘informal marriage’ – results from agreement between the partners that they are married, even if they do not obtain a legal marriage license or have a ceremony. Common law marriages are recognized in Texas, eight other states, and the District of Columbia, but not in Washington state. New Hampshire recogni

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Is ANY sexual desire a “choice”?

Sexual orientation has a strong physiological component. It appears to be influenced by both genetic and hormonal factors.

• The trait is similar to being left or right-handed; the genetic influence on
both traits is estimated at less than 50%; and both seem to be established at an early age or before birth.

• A same-sex orientation is held by approximately 3-5% of the world’s population. There are twice as many homosexual males as females.

• Sexual orientation is a complex trait which appears to have multiple
mechanisms acting upon it. It is unlikely that there is a single cause,
although it is quite clear that the primary roots of the trait lie in biology.

• Gay men and lesbians are more likely than straight men and women to be left-handed. Since hand preference can be observed in the womb, this suggests a prenatal influence.

• Gay men’s object location memory skills exceed that of straight men. Gay men’s skill level in this involuntary indicator of brain organization between the sexes approaches that of straight women.

• Both lesbians and gay men outperform heterosexual men and women in verbal fluency from early childhood.

How can you explain it?

Which sexual orientations are “ok”?

"All of this logic goes for the sexual paraphilias, too, which are primary patterns of arousal that lie outside the norm. The paraphilias, of course, are less tolerated as a whole than simply being gay, straight, or bi, and we argue over which groups get to use the term sexual orientation, but I see no rational reason not to regard the paraphilias as their own distinct sexual orientations."

"“I don’t ‘hate’ gay people,” they say. “I just disagree with them, that’s all.” By “disagreeing,” either you’re willfully ignoring the obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice (which indeed makes you a bigot), or you’re simply unable to grasp the obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice (which makes you stupid)."

Great comments from Jesse Bering