Nancy Pelosi presents John Bercow with LGBT rights award

Nancy Pelosi presents John Bercow with LGBT rights award

John Bercow has been handed a prestigious award for his work on LGBT issues.

The House of Commons Speaker received the PinkNews Special Award for his support for LGBT rights during his 22 years as an MP.

The prize was presented by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi , who said Mr Bercow had been "a committed fighter in the struggle to end discrimination".

Mr Bercow resigned from the Tory frontbench in 2002 over then leader Iain Duncan Smith’s opposition to unmarried people adopting children.

The next year he became one of the most prominent Tory supporters of the repeal of the "Section 28" laws that banned teaching about homosexuality in schools. John Bercow accused of being ‘verbal playground bully’

He is also the president of charities the Kaleidoscope Trust, which defends the rights of LGBT people around the world, and Diversity Role Models, which tackles homophobic bullying in schools.

The awards ceremony was held at Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England, and was attended by senior politicians including Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Sir Keir Starmer and Ian Blackford.

Mr Bercow, who has been hit by a string of bullying allegations in recent years, all of which he has denied, announced last month that he would step down as Speaker on 31 October – the day that Britain is due to leave the EU.

The election for his successor will take place on 4 November, with a number of senior parliamentarians, including Harriet Harman, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Sir Edward Leigh and Dame Rosie Winterton among those vying for the role. Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

Show all 50 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

1/50 16 October 2019

A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool PA 2/50 15 October 2019

Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London Reuters 3/50 14 October 2019

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign’s throne ahead of delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament AFP 4/50 13 October 2019

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB’s second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total Getty 5/50 12 October 2019

St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6 PA 6/50 11 October 2019

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the "bittersweet" decision to bring her home AFP via Getty 7/50 10 October 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals EPA/Noel Mullen 8/50 9 October 2019

Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams AFP/Getty 9/50 8 October 2019

Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster PA 10/50 7 October 2019

Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, ahead of the opening of for the ‘Michelangelo: A Different View’ exhibition at Hull Minister PA 11/50 6 October 2019

A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland PA 12/50 5 October 2019

Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum EPA 13/50 4 October 2019

A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled ‘Gorilla Apocalypse’, created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire PA 14/50 3 October 2019

Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London Reuters 15/50 2 October 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses AFP/Getty 16/50 1 October 2019

A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain PA 17/50 30 September 2019

Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London PA 18/50 29 September 2019

A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London’s only river crossing PA 19/50 28 September 2019

An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire PA 20/50 27 September 2019

Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair AFP/Getty 21/50 26 September 2019

England’s Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State’s Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7 Reuters 22/50 25 September 2019

Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church PA 23/50 24 September 2019

A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal AFP/Getty 24/50 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs – including 9,000 in UK – are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge Getty 25/50 22 September 2019

Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND – the Mental Health Charity PA 26/50 21 September 2019

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by "The People’s Vote" in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit AFP/Getty 27/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history Angela Christofilou/The Independent 28/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo Getty 29/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast PA 30/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland PA 31/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween PA 32/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½ Getty 33/50 14 September 2019

Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay PA 34/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain Reuters 35/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test Action Images via Reuters 36/50 11 September 2019 Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields PA 37/50 10 September 2019 The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal PA 38/50 9 September 2019 A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, London PA 39/50 8 September 2019 Australia celebrate the wicket of England’s Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes Action Images via Reuters 40/50 7 September 2019 Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women’s Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record Getty 41/50 6 September 2019 A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew’s review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers PA 42/50 5 September 2019 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh PA 43/50 4 September 2019 Australia’s David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester Getty 44/50 3 September 2019 Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow AP 45/50 2 September 2019 Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9 PA 46/50 1 September 2019 Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide PA 47/50 31 August 2019 Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London SWNS 48/50 30 August 2019 One of the iconic ‘Girl with Balloon’ artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London AP 49/50 29 August 2019 The sun rises over the sculpture "The Couple" by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland PA 50/50 28 […]

The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons creating documentary series based on LGBTQ+ history

The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons creating documentary series based on LGBTQ+ history

Jim Parsons is helping create a series celebrating LGBTQ+ history (Picture: Getty) The Big Bang Theory ’s Jim Parsons is teaming up with Greg Perlanti to create a new documentary series based on historical moments for the LGBTQ+ community.

The actor, who has been moving behind-the-scenes for more producer-led roles over the past year, will bring to life landmark points of the history of gay, transgender and queer rights that have been long fought for.

Equal, a four-part series, will also chronicle forgotten heroes and faces of the movement, giving them overdue recognition for their fight for equal rights for the community.

Each hour-long episode will see never-before-seen footage, interviews and re-enactments to bring to life the story of LGBTQ+ trailblazers that have made history with their work and efforts.

It will end with a special on the Stonewall Riots, ending with the first New York Pride event one year after the events of that evening.

Jennifer O’Connell, executive VP of non-fiction at HBO Max, said: ‘In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride.

‘While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way.’ The star will help create the four-part series celebrating LGBT trailblazers (Picture: Getty) ‘It’s time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers,’ she added.

Jim also produces Netflix series Special, which tells the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy, and Young Sheldon, the prequel series of his character from The Big Bang Theory. UK’s first Chick-fil-A to close down amid row over anti-LGBT donations Kissing lesbians told to ‘tone it down’ by Wetherspoon staff Man lured to Grindr date by teens who ambushed him in homophobic attack It’ll mark the first ever production for Warner Horizon Unscripted TV’s new documentary unit, with president of unscripted and alternative Mike Darnell explaining that the creation of the show comes at a ‘critical’ time.

He said: ‘We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical.

‘What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.’

The Big Bang Theory is available on Netflix in the UK.

LGBTQ Dreamers Fear Detention and Deportation and Need DACA’s Protections

LGBTQ Dreamers Fear Detention and Deportation and Need DACA’s Protections

Getty/Drew AngererA view of the Statue of Liberty is seen during a naturalization ceremony in Jersey City, New Jersey, September 2017. On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the legality of President Donald Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The stakes of this case are extremely high: Since the policy was announced on June 15, 2012, it has provided temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to approximately 825,000 undocumented young people, including thousands of LGBTQ people. By applying the Gallup estimate of Millennials who identify as LGBT, 8.1 percent , to the number of DACA recipients in the country, the authors conservatively estimated that at least 66,825 LGBT individuals have received protection under DACA.* † The DACA program has allowed recipients who identify as LGBTQ to live free from the daily fear of deportation and improve their economic security and educational attainment.

LGBTQ DACA recipients, like all DACA recipients, have made enormous gains under the program. In addition to the effect that DACA has had on LGBT recipients’ economic security and educational attainment, a recent survey also shows that DACA has played a large role in LGBT recipients’ feelings of inclusion and belonging in the United States: 65 percent of LGBT recipients reported that after their DACA application was approved, they felt more like they belong in the United States. Meanwhile, 66 percent reported that they have become more involved in their community, and 62 percent reported becoming more politically active after their DACA application was approved. President Trump’s termination of the program put these gains in jeopardy. A note on the survey data

From August 14 to September 6, 2019, Tom K. Wong of the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream; the National Immigration Law Center; and the Center for American Progress fielded a national survey to analyze the experiences of DACA recipients. The full survey results are available here and on file with Tom K. Wong. This survey included a question asking respondents to report whether they identified as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender nonconforming. Out of 1,105 respondents, 157 individuals, or 14 percent of the total sample, stated that they were either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender nonconforming.

The authors combined the responses from survey respondents who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender nonconforming. They then conducted analyses to explore current beliefs and experiences of LGBT DACA recipients as well as potential differences between LGBT and non-LGBT survey participants related to the harms of President’s Trump’s rescission of this policy. Potential risks of deporting LGBT DACA recipients

Although two-thirds of LGBT survey respondents reported, “After my DACA application was approved, I am no longer afraid because of my immigration status,” they also expressed concerns about detention and deportation, providing insight into the harms that LGBTQ DACA recipients could face if President Trump succeeds in terminating the program. Without DACA’s protection from deportation, LGBTQ recipients once more would be at risk of being deported to their countries of birth. Like other DACA recipients, LGBTQ recipients have spent their formative years in the United States, meaning their countries of birth are unfamiliar to them; more than half of LGBT DACA recipients surveyed in 2017 were 5 years old or younger when they were brought to the United States. They also lack support networks in these countries, with less than one-third of LGBT survey respondents reporting that they have an immediate family member still living in their country of birth. Fears about the lack of stability in and familiarity with their home countries are clear in the survey results: 80 percent reported, “In my country of birth, I would be concerned about the physical safety of myself and my family.”

72 percent reported, “In my country of birth, I would be concerned about the quality of healthcare for myself and my family.”

58 percent reported, “In my country of birth, I would be concerned about food insecurity for myself and my family.”

43 percent reported, “In my country of birth, I would be concerned about homelessness for myself and my family.”

Given these well-founded concerns about the safety and security of being an LGBTQ person in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras , losing protections under DACA and being deported would put the physical safety, health, and security of LGBTQ DACA recipients and their families at serious risk. LGBT recipients fear the consequences of losing DACA

LGBT survey respondents also indicated that the uncertainty around the program’s future—and, by extension, their own personal future—is often on their minds. LGBT survey respondents were significantly more likely than the rest of the DACA recipients surveyed to think at least once a day about the following immigration enforcement consequences of losing their protections: 56 percent reported thinking about “Being detained in an immigration detention facility” about once a day or more.**

64 percent reported thinking about “Being deported from the U.S.” about once a day or more.***

74 percent reported thinking about “A family member being detained in an immigration detention facility” about once a day or more.****

With record numbers of immigrants being detained , traumatizing enforcement actions such as raids , and the uncertainty around the fate of their protections under DACA, the pervasive concerns of LGBT DACA recipients around detention and deportation are understandable. Conclusion

Stripping LGBT DACA recipients of these protections would have disastrous effects on their lives. Given the disproportionate risk of abuse that LGBTQ people face in immigration detention and the widespread risk they face in much of the world , the fears expressed by LGBT survey respondents are serious. Policymakers should address these fears, which weigh heavily and frequently on LGBT DACA recipients, through strengthening—not weakening—protections.

Sharita Gruberg is the director of policy for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. Laura E. Durso is the vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center. Tom K. Wong is a senior fellow at the Center as well as an associate professor of political science and founding director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California, San Diego.

* An earlier estimate by the Williams Institute finds that the proportion of young adults ages 18 to 29 who identify as LGBT and are undocumented is 4.4 percent. Applied to the total number of DACA recipients, the Williams Institute reached an estimate of 36,000 DACA recipients who identify as LGBT. CAP uses the Gallup estimate for Millennials who identify as LGBT and applies that to the total number of DACA recipients. Since LGBT people of color and high-school-age youth identify as LGBT by larger percentages than the general LGBT population, this is likely a conservative estimate.

** p=0.002

*** p<0.001

**** p=0.035

† Correction, October 17, 2019: This column has been updated to clarify that an estimated 66,825 LGBT individuals have received protection under DACA at some point. Not necessarily all of these individuals currently hold DACA protections.

Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal so you can start your day with maximum gay

Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal so you can start your day with maximum gay

Kellogg’s launched the All Together cereal If you’re a fan of breakfast and being gay, we have grrrrreat news for you – Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal.

The company’s special edition All Together Cereal is enough to make you snap, crackle and pop with Pride, bringing together many of the brand’s most popular cereals.

The company announced a $50,000 donation to LGBT+ advocacy charity GLAAD as it launched the cereal for Spirit Day on October 17.

The $19.99 special edition box , available while supplies last, contain six mini cereal boxes packaged inside one larger exclusive All Together box “to celebrate the belief that we all belong together”.

The company explained: “The box brings together six of the famous Kellogg mascots and cereals inside the same carton as a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love.”

The box includes Corn Flakes, Frosties, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran and Frosted Mini-Wheats. Kellogg’s ‘firmly committed’ to equality.

Chief diversity officer Priscilla Koranteng said: “At Kellogg, we are firmly committed to equality and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live.

“We have long been allies and supporters of LGBTQ employees, their families and the community. For more than 100 years, Kellogg has nourished families so they can flourish and thrive, and the company continues to welcome everyone to the table.”

Stars you didn’t know are gay or lesbian

Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling The Kellogg’s cereal was launched in honour of Spirit Day John McCourt of GLAAD: “We are proud to partner with Kellogg’s again this year to help extend the important message of Spirit Day to households across the country.

“The All Together cereal encompasses the values of diversity, equality, and solidarity that Spirit Day is all about, and we hope that LGBTQ youth everywhere receive the messages loud and clear.” Andi Mack star to launch LGBT-themed cereal All Together.

The cereal is being launched by Andi Mack star Joshua Rush at a Spirit Day event at the Kellogg’s café in New York City, where guests will have a “chance to mix your own one-of-a-kind cereal” and learn about the work of GLAAD.

Kellogg’s previously put its cereal mascots to work campaigning against homophobic bullying.

A 2017 Spirit Day video featured mascots including Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, Toucan Sam, and the Corn Flakes mascot (apparently called Cornelius) telling kids that “bullying is no laughing matter”.

The company won a PinkNews Award in 2018 for an ad campaign featured drag queens Vivienne Lynsey and Miss Blair talking about how they take their cereal.

‘Start Your Day With Maximum Gay:’ Kellogg’s Launches LGBT Cereal

‘Start Your Day With Maximum Gay:’ Kellogg’s Launches LGBT Cereal

Have you ever eaten Froot Loops and thought, "This cereal isn’t gay enough?" Do you seek a safe space to eat your Rice Krispies? Are you concerned that your Corn Flakes aren’t sufficiently woke? Well, now Kellogg’s has the solution! On Thursday, the gay site PinkNews reported , “Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal so you can start your day with maximum gay… If you’re a fan of breakfast and being gay, we have grrrrreat news for you – Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal.”

And to think, we’ve been eating straight, cisgender cereal all this time.

Timed to coincide with GLAAD’s Spirit Day on October 17, they teamed up to produce the “All Together” cereal, which Kellogg’s says is the first to offer Corn Flakes, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran, and Rice Krispies “exclusively together.”

Unlike the mix of cereal the image on the box implies, it’s actually a Limited Edition Variety Pack with 6 individual sized boxes inside, but consumers are free to create any combination they like. Froot Loops and Raisin Brain together? Let your freak flag fly, honey!

Kellogg’s chief diversity officer (why does a cereal company need such a thing??) Priscilla Koranteng said, “At Kellogg, we are firmly committed to equality and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live.” As part of the Spirit Day partnership, Kellogg’s is donating $50,000 to GLAAD.

According to the All Together Cereal page on Kellogg’s website, Spirit Day is when “millions wear purple to stand up against bullying, and to support a more accepting world for LGBTQ youth.”

The site explains the thinking behind the cereal: We all belong together. So for the first time in history, our famous mascots and cereals are offered exclusively together in the same box for All Together Cereal. It’s a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love. We believe that all people deserve an environment where they can be their best selves. GLAAD’s John McCourt said, “The All Together cereal encompasses the values of diversity, equality, and solidarity that Spirit Day is all about, and we hope that LGBTQ youth everywhere receive the messages loud and clear.”

Equality and inclusion in a breakfast food – it’s social justice cereal! I think I’m gonna lose my breakfast.

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National LGBT Center Awareness Day

National LGBT Center Awareness Day

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Today is the annual “National LGBT Center Awareness Day.”

It was started in 1994 as a way to call attention to all the services these centers provide to the LGBTQ+ communities.

Including offering spaces where community members can network, find support, employment and more.

Here are links to centers in the Bay Area: SF LGBT Center:

UCSF Center for LGBT Health and Equity:

San Francisco Project Open Hand:

Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center:

Pacific Center for Human Growth:

Drag Race’s Sum Ting Wong and around ‘150 protesters’ tell UK’s first Chick-fil-A to ‘sashay away’

Drag Race’s Sum Ting Wong and around ‘150 protesters’ tell UK’s first Chick-fil-A to ‘sashay away’

Dozens protested outside a shopping centre in Reading, the site of the UK’s first Chick-fil-A store. (Martin Cooper) RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Sum Ting Wong opted for a more muted look today as she and more than “150 people” protested today against the first UK Chick-fil-A store.

In the southern town of Reading, England, locals were filled with unease when they awoke to the news that the American fast-food chain – known for its donations to anti-LGBT+ organisations – was set to open up shop in their town.

Sending ripples through the queer community, campaigners rallied together to stand against the chain by spilling outside The Oracle shopping centre in the Berkshire town today telling the corporation to ‘sashay away’.

The protest came after a spokesperson for the shopping centre confirmed that that “the right thing to do” is to not extend Chick-fil-A’s lease past its “six-month pilot period”, Reading Pride confirmed in a news release .

Organisers added that as the “restaurant will be profiting from unsuspecting patrons”, the protest would continue as planned. Protest organisers: ‘They failed to respond, and so we took action’.

Protesters watch speeches from Reading Labour councillors and Reading Pride organisers. (Martin Cooper) Dozens of local residents and Pride organisations from nearby towns gathered on the red bricked-Broad Street to hoist up rainbow Pride flags, unfurl banners and hand out pamphlets at around 11am.

Protesters chanted “Chick-fil-A, sashay away!” while others held banners up high reading: “Get the chick out! Say no to bigotry and hatred on your High Street.”

The beating heart of the ‘Get The Chick Out’ protest was Reading Pride – first formed in 2003. Proud to support @Reading_Pride in their protest against hate and homophobia that is supported by the owners of #chikfila alongside @ReadingLabour @CTS_RDG and @ReadingTuc #GetTheChickOut #LGBTQIAwedontwantnochikfila #rdguk #rdg

— Sarah Hacker (@CllrSarahHacker) October 19, 2019 Reading Pride chief executive officer Martin Cooper told PinkNews that the LGBT+ community needs to take a stand against the corporation.

“The individual franchises may have differing views to the family that own the company.

“But the profits that are made are used towards anti-LGBT+ activities, including conversion therapies and law making in Uganda , where officials want to ‘kill the gays’.

“Therefore, it is appropriate to protest and let the community know where their money could go.”

Labour councillors, local unions and officials from the UK Pride Organisers Network travelled to the city’s shopping district to show their support.

While representatives from Gloucester Pride, Newbury Pride, Pride in Surrey and Weston-Super-Mare Pride swung to plump up crowds, which organisers estimated saw around 150 people attend throughout the day. Standing in solidarity with @Reading_Pride #GetTheChickOut

— Newbury Pride (@NewburyPride) October 19, 2019 “All in all, the message was put across, and it was clear,” Cooper recounted.

“We won’t allow companies that are actively supporting oppression of LGBT+ persons to get away with setting up shop without calling to question their actions.

“They failed to respond, and so we took action.

“And it paid off.” RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star allegedly turned away from Chick-fil-A.

Outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in the city centre, shoppers may have been given a flyer from Sum Ting Wong.

Wong was dressed to match the airy weather in a nondescript mustard beanie, grey drop-stitch cardigan and sandals.

Far removed from her usual powdered, perfumed drag that has made her a fan favourite on the show. Sum Ting Wong, the stage name of Bo Zeng, is a Reading local who took part in the protest today, pictured handing out pamphlets in front of a convince store. (Martin Cooper) But the Reading local meant business as she joined protesters in solidarity.

Attempting to go into the Chick-fil-A, Wong was allegedly turned away by staff, according to a tweet .

“But I just wanted see if chicken tasted better than bigotry?” Wong continued. But I just wanted to see if chicken tasted better than bigotry?

— Sum Ting Wong (@IsSumTingWong) October 19, 2019 Moreover, Wong claimed in another tweet that customers in the branch threw “the middle finger” at protesters outside – an obscene hand gesture in the UK.

Stars you didn’t know are gay or lesbian

Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling

PinkNews reached out to Chick-fil-A for comment. The US fast-food chain has a long history of supporting anti-LGBT+ causes.

In 2013, it was reported that the chain’s anti-LGBT+ donations had almost doubled . The Chick-fil-A Foundation donated almost $3 million to an anti-marriage equality organisation in 2011.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A boss Dan Cathy confirmed that the chain is against same-sex marriage. He later said he regretted getting the company entangled in controversy surrounding LGBT+ rights, but said his views had not changed.

“The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organisation in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues,” he said.

LGBT workers head to Supreme Court for blockbuster discrimination cases: ‘I’ll be that person to stand up’

LGBT workers head to Supreme Court for blockbuster discrimination cases: 'I'll be that person to stand up'

Gerald Bostock pictured in front of the Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

Tucker Higgins | CNBC

Gerald Bostock was devastated when he learned he had been fired from his job overseeing child welfare services for the Clayton County, Georgia juvenile court system.

The role, he says now, was his dream job. He believed working with children was his calling, and that he was good at it. In 2010, his county became the first in Atlanta to supply a volunteer to every neglected or abused child in the system.

Bostock believes he was fired for being gay. His termination came in 2013, months after he joined a gay softball league, after a history positive performance reviews. When he lost his job, he also lost friends, his home and his health insurance, he said.

Now Bostock’s firing is at the center of a blockbuster set of Supreme Court cases that will determine whether LGBT workers may be fired on the basis of their identities. Arguments are set for Tuesday morning.

“Somebody needed to stand up,” Bostock said in a recent interview. “I’ll be that person to stand up so that nobody has to go to work fearful of losing their job.”

The Supreme Court cases are the first to squarely address the question of whether federal anti-discrimination law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

While the court has expanded the rights of LGBT individuals in recent years, holding that same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution, for instance, it has yet to apply protections to the workplace. In about half the country, states and localities have passed laws forbidding such discrimination. In the other half, including Clayton County, workers are without protection.

“In an era where people want to believe that gay marriage solved everything, this shows that it clearly didn’t. There are many battles left,” said Brian Riedel, a professor at Rice University who studies LGBT social movements.

The justices will hear the cases of three LGBT workers who were fired, including Bostock. The other two individuals are Donald Zarda, a gay man who was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor after remarking on his sexual orientation to a female client, and Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman fired from her job as a funeral director after she announced her intention to present as a woman.

Ahead of arguments, it is not clear how the justices may come down on the issue. The case is the first major LGBT case to come before the justices since the departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had long been a champion for gay rights from the court. In focus will be Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy’s replacement, who is believed to be more conservative.

“I think that it is actually a case that is pretty hard to predict,” said David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Zarda and Stephens. Asked which justices he is hoping to corral into a majority, Cole said: “I’ll take any five.”

The decisions in the cases are expected by the end of June, in the middle of the 2020 presidential election. Because of ‘sex’

Aimee Stephens talks during in an interview in Ferndale, Mich., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.

Paul Sancya | AP

The legal question comes down to the language of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination because of “sex” but does not specifically mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Both the workers and the employers agree that the lawmakers who passed the law did not envision that it would protect gay or transgender workers.

But in legal briefs, the workers have noted that the Supreme Court has applied the Civil Rights Act to unforeseen territory before.

In the 1989 case Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, the court ruled that the law also barred discrimination against workers on the basis that they do not conform to gender stereotypes. Years later, the court ruled in the 1998 case Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services that the law protected workers against discrimination by members of the same sex.

Federal appeals courts have split on the issue.

The Eleventh Circuit, which reviewed Bostock’s case, dismissed his complaint. Under the court’s precedent, “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII,” a three-judge panel said in an unsigned opinion.

The appeals courts which reviewed Zarda and Stephens’s cases came down differently.

The Second Circuit, which heard Zarda’s case, also had precedents on the books which held that Title 7 did not apply to LGBT workers. But after the full court heard the case, it reversed those precedents.

“Looking first to the text of Title VII, the most natural reading of the statute’s prohibition on discrimination ‘because of . . . sex’ is that it extends to sexual orientation discrimination because sex is necessarily a factor in sexual orientation,” Chief Judge Robert Katzmann wrote.

He added that “sexual orientation discrimination is predicated on assumptions about how persons of a certain sex can or should be, which is an impermissible basis for adverse employment actions.”

Likewise, in Stephens’s case, the Sixth Circuit held that firing someone based on their transitioning status is by definition discrimination based on sex stereotypes.

“There is no way to disaggregate discrimination on the basis of transgender status from discrimination on the basis of gender non-conformity, and we see no reason to try,” Circuit Judge Karen Moore wrote.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, has also said that Title 7 forbids gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination, though the Trump administration, via the Department of Justice, has taken the opposite view.

“Even if sexual orientation were a ‘function’ of sex, that would be insufficient, standing alone, to violate Title VII; otherwise, all sex-specific practices, including bathrooms, dress codes, and physical fitness standards, would be unlawful,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in a brief with the top court.

Francisco argued that the top court’s prohibition on discriminating based on sex stereotypes likewise does not forbid discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. While Title 7 protects men from being fired for being effeminate, that protection applies equally to straight and gay employees, he wrote.

Sunu Chandy, the legal director for the National Women’s Law Center, which filed a brief in support of the employees, said she will be looking at whether the justices ask questions about the practicality of such distinctions during arguments. Adopting such a standard, she said, would “throw into havoc civil rights protections that have been precedent for decades.”

“What I’m really interested in is how you could practically exclude LGBT workers from these civil rights protections that we all enjoy?” she said. “If there is someone who does not comply with sex stereotypes, the employer could then say, ‘[you were fired] because I thought you were gay,’ and get a free pass.” Businesses support LGBT workers

The cases have attracted a flurry of legal arguments from both sides of the debate. Somewhat unusually, many major businesses have come out in favor of the workers, effectively asking the court for more stringent regulations.

In one particularly strong show of force, more than 200 businesses, including Apple, Google and CNBC parent NBCUniversal signed onto a brief supporting the workers in the case.

“The failure to recognize that Title VII protects LGBT workers would hinder the ability of businesses to compete in all corners of the nation, and would harm the U.S. economy as a whole,” the firms wrote.

Bostock’s attorney, Brian Sutherland, made a similar argument in a recent interview, noting that discrimination can have adverse consequences for those who are not directly discriminated against.

“Discrimination against LGBTQ folks does not only hurt them. It hurts the people that they serve,” he said.

That point weighed on Bostock, too.

“I’m very proud of who I am. And I’m proud of the man who I’ve become,” he said. “And I am very proud of the hard work and success that I had in Clayton County, especially because it impacted the lives of so many children who suffered from abuse and neglect.”

Bostock said that the last six years for him have been draining, both financially and personally. But he said that he’s been energized by the prospect of changing the way the law is applied to millions of people “who are fearful of losing their job because of who they are, who they love, and how they identify.”

“I absolutely would not change a single thing,” he said.

The cases are Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express v. Melissa Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Supreme Court clashes over meaning of ‘sex’ in LGBT discrimination cases

Demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019, as the Court holds oral arguments in three cases dealing with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

The justices of the Supreme Court clashed over the meaning of "sex" in heated oral arguments on Tuesday for a blockbuster set of cases concerning the rights of LGBT workers.

The court heard the cases of three LGBT employees, two gay men and a transgender woman, who claim they were fired because of their identities. At issue was the meaning of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination because of "sex" but does not specifically refer to gender identity or sexual orientation.

The case is among the most high profile of the term. While some states and localities have laws on the books protecting LGBT employees, those laws do not apply in about half the country.

Arguments, which lasted two hours, concluded around noon. It was not immediately clear which side will garner a majority, though the outcome seemed to hinge on Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s two appointees. Decisions are expected by the end of June, in the thick of the 2020 presidential election.

Read more: LGBT workers head to Supreme Court for blockbuster discrimination cases: ‘I’ll be that person to stand up’

Several of the court’s conservatives argued that expanding Title 7 to include discrimination against LGBT workers would be better handled by Congress. Attorneys for both sides have acknowledged that at the time the law was passed in 1964, its drafters likely did not envision that it would apply to gay or transgender individuals.

Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s Republican appointees, noted that Congress has had time since the law was first passed to add protections for LGBT workers, and has declined to do so. If the court said the law applied to gay workers, "we will be acting exactly like a legislature," he said.

"This is the type of issue that is better left to Congress than the courts," Solicitor General Noel Francisco, arguing in favor of the employers, told the court. The question, Francisco said, wasn’t whether Congress should bar discrimination against LGBT employees, but rather whether is had actually done so.

Protesters block the street in front of the Supreme Court as it hears arguments on gender identity and workplace discrimination on October 08, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

But Gorsuch, Trump’s first appointee to the bench, suggested with his questioning that he was sympathetic to the argument that the word "sex" necessarily includes sexual orientation as well as gender identity.

"Let’s do truth serum, okay? Wouldn’t the employer maybe say [the firing is] because this person was a man who liked other men? And isn’t that first part sex?" Gorsuch asked of Jeffrey Harris, an attorney for Clayton County, Georgia, which was accused of firing a county employee who is gay.

"Your honor, I think in common parlance, we would call that a same-sex attraction," Harris responded.

Justice Elena Kagan, one of the court’s Democratic-appointees, suggested the text of the law weighed in favor of the employees.

"If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired," she told Francisco. "This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws."

But Francisco said that sex and sexual orientation were different traits. "That’s precisely why when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, it doesn’t define sex as including sexual orientation. It lists it as a different trait," he said.

US actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox speaks to demonstrators in favour of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019, as the Court holds oral arguments in three cases dealing with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

SAUL LOEB | AFP | Getty Images

Attorneys for the employees fended off the idea that their argument required an "update" to Title 7. David Cole, an ACLU attorney who argued on behalf of a funeral director who was fired after announcing her intention to present as a woman, said that "we are not asking you to redefine sex."

"Interpreting a statute is not depriving the democratic process," Cole said.

In an exchange with Cole, Gorsuch said "I’m with you" on the text of the statute, adding that it it was "really close." But he expressed reservations about other elements of the case, warning of "massive social upheaval" should the Supreme Court rule for Cole’s client. "That’s an essentially legislative decision," he added.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the senior member of the court’s liberal wing, noted that interpretations of Title 7 had changed in the past. Since the law was enacted, the Supreme Court has held that it applied to discrimination based on sex stereotypes, as well as same-sex harassment, two zones that were not likely on the minds of the legislators who voted for it.

"No one ever thought sexual harassment was encompassed by discrimination on the basis of sex back in ’64. It wasn’t until a book was written in the middle ’70s bringing that out," Ginsburg said. "And now we say, ‘Of course, harassing someone, subjecting her to terms and conditions of employment she would not encounter if she were a male, that is sex discrimination. But it wasn’t recognized."

Hypothetical questions about what the court’s eventual decision will mean for society featured prominently, particularly as it pertained to gender-specific restrooms and sports programs. John Bursch, an attorney for the funeral home, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, warned that transgender women will work at shelters for women.

Funeral home owner Tom Rost speaks outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019, as the Court holds oral arguments in three cases dealing with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Cole’s position "would mean that a women’s overnight shelter must hire a man who identifies as a woman to serve as a counsellor to women who have been raped, trafficked, and abused and also share restroom, shower, and locker room facilities with them," Bursch said.

Cole said those were different questions. Even if the court ruled against his client Aimee Stephens, those cases would still arise, he said.

The question before the court is the first major test of Trump’s two justices when it comes to LGBT rights. In focus ahead of arguments was Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who succeeded Justice Anthony Kennedy and is believed to be more conservative.

Kennedy was the author of the court’s major opinions expanding LGBT rights, including the 2015 case which held that same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution. Kavanaugh, though, provided few hints about where he stood on the matter on Tuesday, asking no questions that could shine a light on his thinking.

In addition to Stephens, the workers at the center of Tuesday’s debate were Gerald Bostock, who was fired from his job as a child welfare services coordinator in 2013 after joining a recreational gay softball league, and Donald Zarda, who was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor after revealing his sexual orientation to a female client. Zarda has since passed away, but his case is being pursued by his family.

The cases are Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express v. Melissa Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Vinegar Strokes Admits She Doesn’t Think She Lost The Lip Sync That Sent Her Home

RuPaul's Drag Race UK: Vinegar Strokes Admits She Doesn't Think She Lost The Lip Sync That Sent Her Home

Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode three of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

As we’ve seen in the last 11 series of RuPaul’s Drag Race , the design challenges are always a difficult one for the queens, and the British series was clearly no exception.

In the latest episode of Drag Race UK, the queens were tasked with designing a couture outfit using nothing but old tat they could rummage from a car boot sale , and while some shone on the runway, others found the design challenge a little more tricky.

After lip syncing for her life against Sum Ting Wong, it was Vinegar Strokes who was sent packing by RuPaul, but speaking to HuffPost UK the morning after her elimination was aired, she revealed she doesn’t agree with the decision after watching the episode at a viewing party in her hometown… Vinegar Strokes is the latest queen to sashay away How was it watching the latest episode back?

I watched it last night at the Two Brewers bar in London, and I was very drunk. It was great. I was shitting myself beforehand, obviously, I was like, “oh my god I don’t want to watch it”, but I got there, had a few gin and tonics and everyone literally just went mental in the room. It was funny to be in a room with a bunch of strangers and have them all rooting for you, even though you’re showing the worst fashion of your life.

That’s the power of Drag Race isn’t it?

That sums up Drag Race and it sums up Britain.

At the time, were you shocked to have been sent home this week?

Um… do you know what? I wasn’t shocked to have been in the bottom, but because I didn’t see what Sum [Ting Wong] had been doing in the lip sync, you don’t know until they say “you’re going home”. I’m kind of shocked [at being sent home] after watching the lip sync, because I do think I turned it out a little bit harder than Sum did. But who knows?

At what point did you think “I’m definitely going to be in the bottom this week”?

As soon as Raven rolled out on that car I thought, “this is the day!”. The top 10 queens in their car boot sale outfits It looked as though you were really struggling compared to the other queens in the work room this week, how did that feel?

Do you know what, I was my own worst enemy in that. What I did was, I had an idea in my head, and then I’d ask someone like The Vivienne a question and [she’d say] “oh it’s a costume” or “oh it’s meant to be fashion”, so I think I talked myself out of a lot of good ideas that I’d had. And I didn’t have any time left, so I had to go with something quick and easy, so I went with paper.

But , let’s just make one thing clear, I did actually sew something, I sewed the jacket and the little skirt. But apparently hot glue saves lives… it’s weird, you do your best, and I’m not a design queen, I’m not a look queen, I’m just someone who performs. The outfits are essentially a cherry on top for me.

A lot of people were surprised that Baga wasn’t in the bottom two, what do you think of that?

Hmmm… I’m just going to say this again: hot glue saves lives *laughs* I mean look, we know Baga is amazing, Baga – as she said – can sell ice to the eskimos. But this was a design challenge. And I think, the paper outfit – although the paper outfit was shite – I did think mine was a bit more interesting than sticking a loads of scouring pads to a corset. But hey, she’s a scrubber, I’m a page-turner, so we’re both trash, at the end of the day. Vinegar on the runway Let’s talk about RuPaul’s “hodge podge” comment…

Oh my gaaawwwd!

You seemed to take that on the chin, but what was actually going through your head when she said that?

When she said it, I was like, ‘OK, hodge podge, if you’re a drag queen that is obviously not the thing you want to be hearing’. But then, because I’m a fan of the show, I always think that RuPaul kind of gives you little nuggets and little clues, to help you along. So I was like, ‘OK, I can take this really negative thing and say hodge podge is my thing, I’m the queen of hodge podge, and that is now going to be something that I run with’. So I just tried to have fun with it, and own it. We are people who are putting on wigs and make-up and entertaining people, so if you can take those negative things and turn them into things that people can enjoy, that’s the best part about drag! Taking the shit parts about yourself and turning them into something amazing.

Did any part of you think Ru was being below the belt?

Hmmm… below the belt? I don’t know. Because here’s the thing, I know that I’m not a design queen, and I know that at that point – we filmed this back in March – I was still trying to find my point of view with drag and what I wanted to do with it, so of course, if you’re trying out different bits and bobs, you are a bit muddled and a bit hodge podge because you’re still finding where it goes. And when I look at where I am now with my drag, I’m like a different kind of drag queen. If I did what I do now back then, it would have been completely different journey for me.

So, you know, no regrets at all. Babe, it’s drag. If we’re getting upset about wigs and costumes and make-up, then I need to have a word with myself. And also, I never claimed to be a design queen, so the fact that’s the challenge I went home on, that’s fine for me, because it’s not something that I’m really, really good at. The queens had to dance around a maypole in this week’s mini-challenge You were clearly shocked when Sum Ting Wong was in the bottom two with you, do you think the judges made a mistake with the judging this week?

So, back in March, when I was in the room and looking at the outfits, I was literally like ‘oh my god, Cheryl has literally done what I did on Halloween when I was a kid, she’s got a bin-liner and cut a hole through the top. She’s a body-bag with hot-glued rubber gloves on it’. I was like, ′come on darling, this ain’t gonna wash with the judges’. But watching it on telly, I was like, ‘oh actually, it looks alright! It’s still very basic, but it’s OK’. But Sum had fashioned this whole jacket out of blinds, and in my head, if you’re sewing something, you’re designing something – but that’s clearly not the case. So, back then, I was fully shocked. But looking at it last night, I thought ‘they’re right’.

Were you gutted to have gone home the week before Snatch Game?

Honestly gutted. Snatch Game was what I went to Drag Race for, it’s like an actor’s game to be doing something like Snatch Game. But it is what it is, Britain has literally missed out on one of the best Snatch Game characters ever. I was going to do Sandra from Gogglebox . Isn’t that amazing? But she’s coming. Don’t worry, she’s coming…

If you could, would you have done anything on Drag Race differently?

No, because I was saying to a friend of mine, you can’t prep for this, you have to go in with what you’ve got at that moment. Looking back at that, at that person on that show, compared to where I am now, it’s literally chalk and cheese. But I couldn’t have got to where I am now without being that version of Vinegar. So I have absolutely no regrets.

And finally, how did the reality of being on Drag Race compare to what you had anticipated?

It’s very hard, it’s a lot harder than you think. Not that I thought it’d be easy, but I thought there’d be a lot more hours in the day, a lot more time, but actually it really is a race, and you’re pulled from pillar to post to do various bits and bobs. So, the reality is that it was not what I thought it was going to be.

This article has been edited for clarity and length.

The first three episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK are now streaming on BBC Three, with new episodes available every Thursday at 8pm. A Maypole, Car Boot Sale And Throwaway Eyebrows: All The Best Reactions To This Week’s Drag Race UK

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