January 26, 2014 |
Sochi Friendship Grove looked like a pleasant place for reflection on a Friday afternoon, a chance to ponder the ideals and beliefs of the Olympic movement with the opening ceremony exactly three weeks away. Uniformed high-school students, classes done for the day, streamed across the street past the park. The lemon-filled Friendship Tree, planted in 1992, was a short skateboard ride away, and to get there, you could go past a wall mural with the Olympic rings and snow-peaked mountains.
January 16, 2014 |
As the 2014 Sochi Olympics draw near, Russia's anti-gay legislation continues to be a hot-button issue. Earlier this week, the U.S. Olympic Committee declined to take an official stance on the laws, saying it would defer to the Olympic Charter, which bans political demonstrations by athletes and coaches at the Games. On Wednesday, an International Olympic Committee member was quoted by Italian media as saying that President Obama's decision to include openly gay athletes on the U.S. delegation to Sochi is "absurd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2014 |
Transgender activist Eli Erlick, 18, was on the phone from her home in the small Mendocino County town of Willits and I could not resist asking her to respond to something uttered recently on the radio by James Dobson, founder of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. "God made us male and female," said Dobson, expressing distaste for California's groundbreaking new law that requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and play on the sports teams of the gender they identify with.
January 9, 2014 |
Billie Jean King says she now believes that athletes should think twice about protesting for gay rights at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The former tennis great, who will be part of the official U.S. delegation, cited Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which bans political demonstrations by participants at the Games. "I don't want any athlete getting in trouble, although I think they should do anything they want," King told the Associated Press. "Before I knew about Rule 50, I thought it would be sweet to wave some flags or something.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2014 |
The first same-sex wedding in the history of the Tournament of Roses Parade went off without a hitch -- except for the planned one -- despite threats of protests and days of opposition on social media. "Congratulations and our best wishes to Aubrey and Danny on their wedding day!" KTLA-TV Channel 5 news anchor Micah Ohlman said as the wedding-cake-shaped float passed by the viewing stands. Spectators clapped their hands as grooms Danny Leclair, 45, and Aubrey Loots, 42, faced each other and recited their vows before the Rev. Alfreda "Freda" Lanoix on the float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
December 20, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Uganda's parliament on Friday passed tough anti-gay legislation that will punish those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" with life in jail. While same-sex marriage has been enshrined in a growing number of Western countries, human rights advocates say gay rights are receding in much of Africa. Homosexual acts have long been illegal in Uganda and many other parts of the continent, where gays and lesbians are at risk of being beaten up, jailed and even killed.