Celebrating 50 Years of Pride
Google today unveiled a doodle slideshow celebrating 50 years of Pride to take viewers on a five-decade-long journey of Pride history, encompassing the growth and evolution of the international Pride parade. Google’s doodle slideshow offers a glimpse into the Pride parades from each of the five decades. Fifty years back, in June, New York police launched an early morning raid on a small Greenwich Village bar frequented by members of the gay community, thus sparking the Stonewall riots and ushering in the battle for LGBT rights in the US.
Supreme Court at Odds Over Gay Employee Rights
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court spent a tense two hours on Tuesday weighing whether the nation’s bedrock civil-rights law forbids employers from discriminating against gay or transgender employees. The issues arrived in separate cases, but they boiled down to the same question: Does the Civil Rights Act of 1964, whose Title VII outlaws workplace discrimination based on sex, nevertheless permit employers to fire individuals because they are gay or transgender? Justice Neil Gorsuch summed up the conundrum for the court’s conservative majority: The statute’s text, using the broad term “sex,” made for a “really close” call that could well point in the employees’ favor, he said. But was following that path to protect LGBT employees—something lawmakers in 1964 hardly would have expected—worth “the massive social upheaval that would be entailed?” The outcome will depend on whether any of the court’s five conservatives find that the concepts of sexual orientation or gender identity cannot logically be segregated from the ban on sex discrimination. The four liberal justices made clear they considered the answer obvious. “”We can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are and not because of religious reasons, not because they are performing their jobs poorly,” Associate Justice […]
Iranian Singer Faces Execution After Being Outed
Mohsen Lorestani, a Kurdish-Iranian musician, has been accused of homosexual conduct after allegedly flirting with a man in a private chat conversation on social media. Authorities have charged Lorestani with “corruption of the Earth,” which carries the death penalty. Iran, a fundamentalist Muslim state, remains one of the most antagonistic nations on Earth when it comes to queer people. In recent years, the execution of two men made international headlines. Police arrested Hasan Afshar, age 17, for homosexual conduct in 2014. Authorities held him in captivity for two years before a public hanging. Alireza Tajiki, only 15, was also executed in 2016, after confessing to being gay under torture. “Our society has moral principles,” said Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “And we live according to these principles … These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected and the law is obeyed.” Under the Obama Administration, the United States offered political asylum to LGBTQ people fleeing laws like those found in Iran, or in neighboring nations like Saudi Arabia. Donald Trump reversed those protections and Vice President Mike Pence has resisted efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in the international community.