LGBTQ | KUOW News and Information

LGBTQ

Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters 

Tolerance with a side of pedestrian safety: That's the message Vienna is trying to send by replacing the usual stick figures on some of its pedestrian traffic lights with same-sex couples.

Peter Krauss of Vienna’s Urban Planning, Traffic and Transport department says the new lights catch people’s attention, and that’s a good thing. ”We wanted to raise awareness because a lot of accidents in Vienna happen at pedestrian crossings because people do not look at the lights," he points out. "Our idea was that if we change the symbols maybe we get their attention.”

    

A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that would ban so-called conversion therapy for youth.

Joe Wenke is a writer, activist and the founder of Trans Über, a publishing company that promotes LGBTQI community rights.

His most recent book is “The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.” In it Wenke and his guests tell stories of the search for shared humanity in an increasingly polarized world. Wenke argues there is no homosexual agenda, or transgender agenda, there is just the human agenda, summed up by the concept of our common and unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The sperm came from Israel. It was frozen and flown to Thailand, where a South African egg donor awaited. After the egg was fertilized, the embryo traveled to Nepal and was implanted in the Indian woman who agreed to serve as the surrogate mother.

And roughly nine months later, there was a big, bouncing earthquake.

The world of international surrogacy is ... pretty complicated.

The U.S. Supreme Court directly confronts the question of gay marriage this week with a whopping 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, accompanied by plenty of prognostication afterward about the expected results. It won't be until June that we learn how the issue is settled nationally. In the meantime, though, we do know a good deal about the views of the justices already.

To say that there has been a revolution in the law when it comes to gay rights is an understatement.

An Oregon judge has proposed awarding a same-sex couple $135,000 in damages after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding.

Welcome to a special pop-up podcast from NPR's Washington Desk. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage bans are constitutional, our correspondents give their take on the legal questions before the court and seismic shift in the culture and politics on this issue.

Gay marriage is now legal in 36 states. And by the end of this Supreme Court term in June, same-sex couples will either be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be restored in many states where they've been struck down.

Aydian Dowling of Eugene, Ore., is ripped. He has sharply defined muscles, piercing eyes and European-playboy-on-the-Riviera tousled hair.

It's not just striking good looks that distinguish Dowling, who is leading the voting in the annual "Ultimate Guy" contest held by Men's Health magazine. If he wins the contest (which is ultimately determined by judges), Dowling will be the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Men's Health.

All this week, Morning Edition is listening to people think out loud about same-sex marriage in North Dakota, one of 13 states that still ban same-sex marriage. Thursday's story looks at discussions about same-sex marriage among families — a subject some feel is often too taboo to tackle.

Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm near the town of Wahpeton, N.D. She called her new memoir Prairie Silence because around here, people prefer not to talk about hard things in the open.

This week, Morning Edition is taking a look at the attitudes about gay rights in North Dakota, one of 13 states that still bans same-sex marriage.

Wahpeton, N.D., is about an hourlong drive from Fargo, through vast, empty farmland that's brown and yellow this time of year. It will look very different soon — farmers are already out on their tractors preparing for the planting season.

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Flickr Photo/Kjetil-Ree (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Alexandra Gutierrez of the Alaska Public Radio Network about the decision by Alaska's attorney general to sign a letter with 15 other states advising the Supreme Court to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage. 

Following a firestorm of criticism, Republican governors in Indiana and Arkansas signed revised versions of their states' Religious Freedom Restoration bills Thursday night. In Indiana the language was adjusted, and in Arkansas it was significantly scaled back to more closely align with the federal law.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with Leah Libresco, news writer at FiveThirtyEight, about the boycott issued by Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of government travel to Indiana after it passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, described by opponents as a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. 

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

A new Indiana law that has set off a firestorm of criticism and threats of boycotts should be repealed or revised, says Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, whose city is hosting the NCAA men's basketball tournament's Final Four this weekend.

Around midday Tuesday, Gov. Mike Pence said the controversial legislation will be clarified instead of being annulled. He added, "We'll fix this and we'll move forward."

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

When Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law allowing the state's businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples based on religious grounds, he knew the move was a controversial one.

A Richland, Washington, florist will pay $1,000 in fines to the state. The flower shop had discriminated against a same-sex couple that wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013.

Oregon lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" on youth.

Idaho lawmakers unhappy with the legalization of gay marriage in the state are calling on Congress to do something about “activist judges.”

 Crews chip away a circle on the southern wall of the pit that was built to access and repair Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. Eventually it helped Bertha break through/
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Is this week the re-birth of Bertha? What’s the right punishment for a florist who won’t do gay weddings? And a Bellevue man is on the short list to go to Mars and never return. You’ll meet him, along with Q13 FOX’s C.R. Douglas, Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times and the Seattle Channel's Joni Balter.

A judge in Benton County, Washington, has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago.

A committee in the Idaho House Thursday rejected a gay rights measure known as the “Add the Words bill” on a 13-4 party line vote.

Geoffrey McGrath: The Inadvertent Spokesman For Gay Rights

Jan 29, 2015
Geoffrey McGrath delivers a petition bearing more than 125,000 signatures, urging Amazon to stop donating money to the Boy Scouts on May 21, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattleite Geoffrey McGrath about his path from a hiking/biking software engineer  to international spokesperson for gay rights after his membership from the Boy Scouts of America was revoked for his sexual orientation.

This story originally aired June 4, 2014.

Opponents of a gay rights measure in Idaho are highlighting what they call the “bathroom” problem.

Several hundred people packed an auditorium in the Idaho Capitol this morning for a hearing on a measure known as the Add the Words bill.

StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative records stories from the LGBTQ community.

Shane Fairchild's wife, Blue Bauer, was "very rough around the edges," he says: "Blue was 6-foot tall, weighed about 230 pounds, had red hair and brown eyes, had been a trucker all of her life," Fairchild tells their friend Sayer Johnson during a StoryCorps interview in St. Louis, Mo.

iStockphoto

Kids can be cruel.

But homophobic bullying can be particularly cruel.

“We had one young person who was in the changing rooms before going into a sports lesson, and somebody pulled their pants down,” says Amelia Lee, the director of LGBT Youth North West, a charity group based in Manchester, England. “We’ve had people have things stolen from them, being beaten up, being chased home, having eggs pelted at them.”

In a little more than a decade, one in five Americans will turn 65 or older.

A study out of Harvard University found that there isn’t enough housing to meet the needs of these aging boomers.

The issue is especially problematic for gay and lesbian seniors who report facing discrimination when seeking housing. But there are a growing numbers of cities that have created affordable housing specifically for gay and lesbian seniors.

In The Sunday Conversation, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He's attracted to men, but he considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.

Pages