Ed Murray proclaims Day of Action to support immigrants, refugees

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed March 21 a ‘Day of Action’ in support of immigrants and refugees, calling for comprehensive immigration reform. In an official proclamation, signed by himself and all nine city councilmembers, Murray reaffirmed that ‘Seattle is an inclusive, open, and welcoming city, and we will fight today and every day for the rights and security of our immigrant and refugee communities.’ In a press conference call before issuing the proclamation, Murray and three other mayors – Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; Jorge Elorza of Providence, Rhode Island; and Tom Tait of Anaheim, California – stressed the role city governments play in dealing with immigrants and immigration issues. Day of Action activities are meant to highlight the vital contributions immigrants make to their cities and the nation, the mayors said. They are also urging Congress and the Trump administr

Eurovision bars Russian entry

The host nation for the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine, has barred the Russian contestant from attending the competition titles later this spring. Julia Samoylova, was chosen to represent Russia using the song Flame is Burning, sang in Crimea in 2015 – a year after Russia siezed the particular territory from Ukraine. She is one of more than 100 artists blacklisted just for […]

This appeared first on www.bicommunitynews.co.uk

Seattle City Council to Congress: Pass the Equality Act for LGBT rights

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution at its March 13 meeting, calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act. The resolution adopted by the City Council states, ‘We find that federal laws that fully prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression are essential to furthering the well-being of the residents of and visitors to Seattle.’ The proposed Equality Act would add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. Currently, individual states are able to deny access to housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and more because of a resident’s sexual orientation or gender identity. While Washington state law protects LGBT rights, other states do not. The Equality Act would set a national standard that prohibits discrimination under the law based on gender identity or expression.

Ed Murray gets a new endorsement and a new opponent

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Seattle Mayor Ed Murray got a new endorsement in his bid for re-election and a new opponent, both on March 10. Murray was endorsed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, perhaps his highest-profile backer to date. ‘I am proud to support Mayor Murray’s campaign for re-election,’ Ferguson said in a statement. ‘With the Trump administration threatening our immigrant and refugee families and our transgender students, it is critical that we have local leaders in our cities like Mayor Murray. He has shown he will not be intimidated by the administration’s tactics. Just as Mayor Murray stands with the people of Seattle, I stand with him.’ Other big names who have endorsed Murray include former Gov. Christine Gregoire and former Labor Secretary and current DNC Chair Tom Perez. Also jumping on board the Murray bandwagon were United Food and Commerci

5, 000 people married – without a wedding?

Almost two and a half thousand couples got married in 2014 – usually with no wedding! When same-sex marriage was introduced there was an option introduced for all those couples who had registered a civil partnership to be able to ‘ convert’ their partnership registration to relationship. This month’ s Office regarding National Statistics figures show that, following the introduction of the same-sex […]

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SGN exclusive interview: Attorney General Bob Ferguson

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer ‘The most consequential job in government is the attorney general’s job,’ Bob Ferguson says with conviction. Ferguson, who just scored a major victory with a successful lawsuit to block Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, sat down with the SGN in his Seattle office to talk about his work. With him he had Colleen Melody, head of his civil rights unit. In an NPR profile on Ferguson, veteran political operative Christian Sinderman, who worked on Ferguson’s re-election campaign, compared the attorney general to Harry Potter. ‘You know there’s a Harry Potter-like quality of Bob Ferguson: the glasses, the serious intent and the sense of almost destiny in standing up for what’s right and the little guy,’ Sinderman said. Asked if he felt like he was confronting the Dark Lord, Ferguson laughed. ‘I just feel like we’re doing our job,’ he replied. ‘When we met with the s

‘Decline to Sign’ I-1552, Tacoma rally says

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Hundreds of Trans people and allies gathered at the University of Washington in Tacoma on February 25 to kick off the Decline to Sign I-1552 campaign. The initiative would reverse a ten-year-old civil rights law and bar Transgender Washingtonians from restrooms that match their gender identities. At the rally, openly Gay Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello recalled that in 2002 Tacoma became one of the first cities in the country where voters approved an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting Transgender residents. He urged the crowd to ensure that I-1552 ‘never makes it on the ballot.’ Seth Kirby, chairman of the Washington Won’t Discriminate campaign opposing I-1552, said his organization has gotten endorsements from law enforcement, business, and faith leaders. One of those faith leaders is Bishop Richard Jaech of the Southwestern Washington Synod of the Evang

City joins lawsuit for Transgender student rights Sens. Murray and Cantwell sign congressional brief

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes announced on March 2 that the City would sign on to an amicus brief supporting the rights of Transgender high school student Gavin Grimm to use school restrooms that correspond to his gender identity. Grimm’s suit against the Gloucester County, Virginia, school board will be heard by the US Supreme Court on March 28, with a decision expected by the end of the high court’s term in June. Grimm is challenging a high school restroom access policy that forces Transgender students to use a segregated single-stall restroom instead of one consistent with the student’s gender identity. ‘President Trump’s recent attack on transgender people’s equality is part of an ongoing and dangerous assault on civil rights across the country,’ Mayor Murray said in a statement. ‘Forcing transgender students to use separate restrooms or l

Bisexual identity on the rise?

Another figure suggests more young people are determining as bisexual than as lesbian or gay. In the past identity research that separate out bisexual through lesbian and gay identity have often shown more gay and lesbian individuals than bi people. The UK’ s Office for National Statistics for example when first publishing figures on this question has tended to demonstrate around […]

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Jenner to Trump: ‘Call me.’

by Shaun Knittel – SGN Associate Editor Republican Caitlyn Jenner took to Twitter Thursday evening with a message to President Donald Trump: ‘Call me.’ The Olympian and reality TV star was quiet after the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era guidance on Transgender bathroom use in public schools. However, she broke her silence over 24 hours later in a tweet and video message. Clad in a pink ‘pussy bow’ blouse, Jenner, who is Transgender, spoke directly to the camera. ‘I have a message for President Trump from well, one Republican to another. This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community,’ she said, holding up her hand like a mock telephone. ‘Call me.’ After Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee in June, Jenner believed he would be better for women than Hillary Clinton. ‘Everybody looks at the Democrats as being b

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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