US commission: Sexual orientation discrimination is already illegal
In an important leap forward for US gay civil rights, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is already banned by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. While sexual orientation is not explicitly covered in the act, the commission decided in the case of a Florida air traffic controller that discriminating based on orientation is the same as discriminating based on sex. The ruling does not set precedent like the Supreme Court, but will be influential on other court decisions.
The gay beards taking over Instagram
Russian bloggers show what happens when two men hold hands in Moscow
Two straight, male Russian bloggers walked around Moscow for an hour holding hands while being video-taped as a social experiment. The results were clear, as they received shouts, jeers, and violence. “This walk lasted just one hour,” one said. “If a young couple walks like this every day, there will be consequences.”
How the Germans invented homosexuality
Human beings may have had gay sex for eons, and Stonewall may have galvanized the modern gay rights movement, but the idea of gay rights was born in 19th-century Germany, writes Alex Ross at the New Yorker. Ross reviews Robert Beachy’s Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity, a new book exploring the world of gay rights that blossomed in Germany before being wiped away by the Nazis.
New Zealand adds “gender diverse” category to official statistics
New Zealand’s official statistics agency has added a “gender diverse” category to official statistics, to collect more information for policies to help gender minority groups. The agency says it will suggest that other government departments also adopt the category. Gay Star News reports that New Zealand is the first country to collect statistics on gender-diverse citizens.