Same-sex marriage became legal in Norway on 1 January 2009 when a gender-neutral marriage bill was enacted after being passed by the Norwegian legislature, the Storting, in June 2008.[314][315] Norway became the first Scandinavian country and the sixth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Gender-neutral marriage replaced Norway's previous system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Couples in registered partnerships are able to retain that status or convert their registered partnership to a marriage. No new registered partnerships may be created.[316]
In March 2015, the Swiss Federal Council released a governmental report about marriage and new rights for families. It opens the possibility to introduce registered partnerships for different-sex couples as well as same-sex marriage for same-sex couples.[462] Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga in charge of the Federal Department of Justice and Police also stated she hoped personally that same-sex couples would soon be allowed to marry.[463]

On December 10, 2005, the First LGBT Freedom March, with the theme "CPR: Celebrating Pride and Rights" was held along the streets of España and Quiapo in Manila, Philippines. Concerned that the prevailing economic and political crisis in the country at the time presented threats to freedoms and liberties of all Filipinos, including sexual and gender minorities, LGBT individuals and groups, non-government organizations and members of various communities and sectors organized the LGBT Freedom March calling for systemic and structural change. At historic Plaza Miranda, in front of Quiapo Church, despite the pouring rain, a program with performances and speeches depicting LGBT pride was held soon after the march. On December 6, 2014, Philippines will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Metro Manila Pride March with the theme: Come Out For Love Kasi Pag-ibig Pa Rin (Come Out For Love Because It's Still All About Love). The theme is a reminder of the love and passion that started and sustained 20 years of taking to the streets for the recognition and respect of LGBT lives as human lives. It is also a celebration of and an invitation for families, friends, and supporters of LGBT people to claim Metro Manila Pride as a safe space to voice their support for the community, for the LGBT human rights advocacy, and for the people they love and march with every year.

In 2008, the Riga Pride was held in the historically potent 11. novembra krastmala (November 11 Embankment) beneath the Riga Castle. The participants heard speeches from MEPs and a message of support from the Latvian President. The embankment was not open and was isolated from the public with some participants having trouble getting past police cordons. About 300 No Pride protesters gathered on the bridges behind barricades erected by the police who kept Pride participants and the "No Pride" protesters separated. Participants were once more "bused" out but this time a 5-minute journey to central Riga.
Armenia has historically had few protections or recognition in law of same-sex couples. This changed in July 2017, when the Ministry of Justice revealed that all marriages performed abroad are valid in Armenia, including marriages between people of the same sex.[365] That made Armenia the second country of the former Soviet Union, after Estonia, to recognise same-sex marriages performed abroad, though it's not clear if the ruling has any practical effect. As of early 2019, "no such recognition has yet been documented."[165]

The rainbow flags were first flown during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day march on June 25, 1978. The first batch of flags was handmade by Baker and his fellows. Because of some issues in the production, they had to replace Indigo color with basic blue and turquoise and pink stripes were totally removed. Even today it is the most used version of the flag.  It is displayed as the symbol of gay pride during the Pride Month all across the United States. There are many other versions of the gay pride flag. For instance, few communities have added a black stripe to raise AIDS awareness. Philadelphia added brown and black stripes which represent racial inclusiveness. However, the six-striped version is the standard and most popular one.
The ACLU has a long history of defending the LGBT community. We brought our first LGBT rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBT Project in 1986. Today, the ACLU brings more LGBT cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization does. With our reach into the courts and legislatures of every state, there is no other organization that can match our record of making progress both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion.
Legal procedures exist in some jurisdictions which allow individuals to change their legal gender or name to reflect their gender identity. Requirements for these procedures vary from an explicit formal diagnosis of transsexualism, to a diagnosis of gender identity disorder, to a letter from a physician that attests the individual's gender transition or having established a different gender role.[96] In 1994, the DSM IV entry was changed from "Transsexual" to "Gender Identity Disorder". In many places, transgender people are not legally protected from discrimination in the workplace or in public accommodations.[20] A report released in February 2011 found that 90% of transgender people faced discrimination at work and were unemployed at double the rate of the general population,[18] and over half had been harassed or turned away when attempting to access public services.[18] Members of the transgender community also encounter high levels of discrimination in health care.[97]
On 12 April 2013, the upper house of the French Parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage.[252] On 23 April 2013, the law was approved by the National Assembly in a 331–225 vote.[253] Law No.2013-404 grants same-sex couples living in France, including foreigners provided at least one of the partners has their domicile or residence in France, the legal right to get married. The law also allows the recognition in France of same-sex couples' marriages that occurred abroad before the bill's enactment.[254]
In 1995, Jill Sobule sang about bi-curiosity in her song "I Kissed a Girl", with a video that alternated images of Sobule and a boyfriend along with images of her with a girlfriend. Another song with the same name by Katy Perry also hints at the same theme. Some activists suggest the song merely reinforces the stereotype of bisexuals experimenting and of bisexuality not being a real sexual preference. Lady Gaga has also stated that she is bisexual,[114] and has acknowledged that her song "Poker Face" is about fantasizing about a woman while being with a man.[115]
Government revenue from marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes in some circumstances (the so-called "marriage penalty"), and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. [4] In July 2012 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that gay marriage had contributed $259 million to the city's economy since the practice became legal there in July 2011. [43] In 2012, the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that in the first five years after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, same-sex wedding expenditures (such as venue rental, wedding cakes, etc.) added $111 million to the state's economy. [114] A 2014 series of reports also by the Williams Institute estimated that legalizing same-sex marriage would boost the economies of the 11 US states studied by a total of $723 million over three years. [87] The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2004 that federally-recognized gay marriage would cut the budget deficit by around $450 million a year. [89]

Many religious leaders and churches support gay marriage and say it is consistent with scripture. Gene Robinson, openly gay former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, stated in Sep. 2012: "Scripture says where love is, there is God also. And they [religious people] see that love in our families, and I think people can't help but be supportive." [128] Lee Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College, wrote that the Bible makes no mention of same-sex marriage at all, nor does it make reference to sexual orientation as it is understood today. [129] Reform Judaism, which comprises about 80% of the American Jewish population, endorses same-sex marriage, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis has supported gay marriage since 1996. [130] The Episcopal Church stated in Resolution A095, made in 2006, that it "oppose[s] any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions." The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June 2014 to allow its pastors to marry same-sex couples. The United Church of Christ General Synod voted in July 2005 to affirm "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender." The 1996 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted "a position in support of legal recognition for marriage between members of the same sex." [119] [141][142] [143]
Apart from measures to protect the prerogatives of citizens, the prosecution of homosexuality as a general crime began in the 3rd century of the Christian era when male prostitution was banned by Philip the Arab. By the end of the 4th century, after the Roman Empire had come under Christian rule, passive homosexuality was punishable by burning.[50] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[51] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[52]
So it is very important that the Trans Community understand that the term "Transgendered", while not perfect, is the term most people within and outside of our Community understands and identifies with. How you identify personally is another thing all together. So, if there are "Transsexuals" who get upset that they are included under the umbrella term "Transgendered", they either need to come up with a term that better identifies EVERYONE in the Trans Community or just get over it. I'm beginning to think they just don't want to be under our umbrella when it rains even though there is no other, but they still don't want to get wet. :-) 

Some evolutionary psychologists have argued that same-sex attraction does not have adaptive value because it has no association with potential reproductive success. Instead, bisexuality can be due to normal variation in brain plasticity. More recently, it has been suggested that same-sex alliances may have helped males climb the social hierarchy giving access to females and reproductive opportunities. Same-sex allies could have helped females to move to the safer and resource richer center of the group, which increased their chances of raising their offspring successfully.[56]

In 2008, the Riga Pride was held in the historically potent 11. novembra krastmala (November 11 Embankment) beneath the Riga Castle. The participants heard speeches from MEPs and a message of support from the Latvian President. The embankment was not open and was isolated from the public with some participants having trouble getting past police cordons. About 300 No Pride protesters gathered on the bridges behind barricades erected by the police who kept Pride participants and the "No Pride" protesters separated. Participants were once more "bused" out but this time a 5-minute journey to central Riga.

Research findings from 1998–2015 from the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, Florida State University, the University of Amsterdam, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Stanford University, the University of California-San Francisco, the University of California-Los Angeles, Tufts University, Boston Medical Center, the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and independent researchers also support the findings of this study.[37]
The event is organised by COGAM (Madrid GLTB Collective) and FELGTB (Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals) and supported by other national and international LGTB groups. The first Gay Parade in Madrid was held after the death of Franco, with the arrival of democracy, in 1979. Since then, dozens of companies like Microsoft, Google and Schweppes and several political parties and trade unions, including Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PODEMOS, United Left, Union, Progress and Democracy, CCOO and UGT have been supporting the parade. Madrid Pride Parade is the biggest gay demonstration in Europe, with more than 1.5 million attendees in 2009, according to the Spanish government.
^ Mitsuhashi, J. (2006). Translated by Hasegawa, K. "The transgender world in contemporary Japan: the male to female cross‐dressers' community in Shinjuku". Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. 7 (2): 202–227. doi:10.1080/14649370600673847. "...the male to female cross-dressing (MTFCD) community in Shinjuku, Tokyo, which plays an important role in the overall transgender world and how people in the community think and live..."

In August 2011, Sao Paulo city alderman Carlos Apolinário of the right-wing Democrats Party sponsored a bill to organize and sponsor "Heterosexual Pride Day" on the third Sunday of December. Apolinário, an Evangelical Protestant, stated that the intent of the parade was a "struggle ... against excesses and privileges". Members of Grupo Gay da Bahia and the Workers' Party opposed the bill as enhancing "the possibility of discrimination and prejudice".[46] The bill was nevertheless passed by the city council, but never received the signature of mayor Gilberto Kassab.
The concept of "traditional marriage" has changed over time, and the definition of marriage as always being between one man and one woman is historically inaccurate. Harvard University historian Nancy F. Cott stated that until two centuries ago, "monogamous households were a tiny, tiny portion" of the world's population, and were found only in "Western Europe and little settlements in North America." Polygamy has been widespread throughout history, according to Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott, PhD. [110] [106] Interracial marriage was once illegal in a majority of US states, and was still banned in half of US states until the 1950s. [108] Official unions between same-sex couples, indistinguishable from marriages except for gender, are believed by some scholars to have been common until the 13th Century in many countries, with the ceremonies performed in churches and the union sealed with a kiss between the two parties. [106]

Traditional marriage is already threatened with high divorce rates (between 40% and 50%), and 40.7% of babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2012. [50] [51] [116] Former US Senator (R-PA) and presidential candidate Rick Santorum stated that "Legalization of gay marriage would further undermine an institution that is essential to the well-being of children and our society. Do we need to confuse future generations of Americans even more about the role and importance of an institution that is so critical to the stability of our country?" [137] Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, said "In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs... Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the culmination of this revisionism, and it would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds." [70]

^ Jump up to: a b c Same-sex marriage is performed and recognized by law in England, Wales and Scotland, but not in Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriage is performed and recognized by law in the overseas territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Bermuda, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as well as in the Crown dependencies of Guernsey (including Alderney, but not Sark), the Isle of Man and Jersey.


In 1961, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi designed the rainbow tallit (prayer shawl) as a symbol of the Kabalah for the members of the Jewish Bene Ohr ("The Children of Light"). It is a vertically presented rainbow, with each colour separated by black stripes of varying thicknesses. The colors represent aspects of God; the black stripes and white spaces represent aspects of creation and protection.[9]
Marriage is an outmoded, oppressive institution that should be weakened, not expanded. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) activist collective Against Equality states that "Gay marriage apes hetero privilege... [and] increases economic inequality by perpetuating a system which deems married beings more worthy of the basics like health care and economic rights." [84] The leaders of the Gay Liberation Front in New York said in July 1969, "We expose the institution of marriage as one of the most insidious and basic sustainers of the system. The family is the microcosm of oppression." [16] Self-described queer activist Anders Zanichkowsky stated in June 2013 that the campaign for gay marriage "intentionally and maliciously erases and excludes so many queer people and cultures, particularly trans and gender non-conforming people, poor queer people, and queer people in non-traditional families... marriage thinks non-married people are deviant and not truly deserving of civil rights." [127]
Like the pansexual flag, the asexual flag was created in 2010. Inspired by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network logo, it represents many ace identities, including graysexuals (the fluid area between sexuals and asexuals) and demisexuals (people who don't experience sexual attraction unless they have an emotional connection with their partners.) Learn more here.
The reasons for seeking mental health services vary according to the individual. A transgender person seeking treatment does not necessarily mean their gender identity is problematic. The emotional strain of dealing with stigma and experiencing transphobia pushes many transgender people to seek treatment to improve their quality of life, as one trans woman reflected: "Transgendered individuals are going to come to a therapist and most of their issues have nothing to do, specifically, with being transgendered. It has to do because they've had to hide, they've had to lie, and they've felt all of this guilt and shame, unfortunately usually for years!"[83] Many transgender people also seek mental health treatment for depression and anxiety caused by the stigma attached to being transgender, and some transgender people have stressed the importance of acknowledging their gender identity with a therapist in order to discuss other quality-of-life issues.[83] Others regret having undergone the procedure and wish to detransition.[85]
Marriage is an internationally recognized human right for all people. Since 1888 the US Supreme Court has declared 14 times that marriage is a fundamental right for all, according to the American Foundation for Equal Rights. [3] Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees "men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion... the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution." [103] Amnesty International states that "this non-discrimination principle has been interpreted by UN treaty bodies and numerous inter-governmental human rights bodies as prohibiting discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation has therefore become an internationally recognized principle." [104]
In November 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the civil status law must allow a third gender option.[102] Thus officially recognising "third sex" meaning that birth certificates will not have blank gender entries for intersex people. The ruling came after an intersex person, who is neither a man nor woman according to chromosomal analysis, brought a legal challenge after attempting to change their registered sex to "inter" or divers.[103].
Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages when a bill passed by the Belgian Federal Parliament took effect on 1 June 2003.[188] Originally, Belgium allowed the marriages of foreign same-sex couples only if their country of origin also allowed these unions, however legislation enacted in October 2004 permits any couple to marry if at least one of the spouses has lived in the country for a minimum of three months. A 2006 statute legalized adoption by same-sex spouses.[189]
Prior to Obergefell, same-sex marriage was legal to at least some degree in thirty-eight states, one territory (Guam) and the District of Columbia; of the states, Missouri, Kansas, and Alabama had restrictions. Until United States v. Windsor, it was only legal in 12 states and District of Columbia. Beginning in July 2013, over forty federal and state courts cited Windsor to strike down state bans on the licensing or recognition of same-sex marriage. Missouri recognized same-sex marriages from out of state and same-sex marriages licensed by the City of St. Louis under two separate state court orders; two other jurisdictions issued such licenses as well. In Kansas, marriage licenses were available to same-sex couples in most counties, but the state did not recognize their validity. Some counties in Alabama issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples for three weeks until the state Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop doing so. That court's ruling did not address the recognition of same-sex marriages already licensed in Alabama, but referred to them as "purported 'marriage licenses'".[55] In two additional states, same-sex marriages were previously legal between the time their bans were struck down and then stayed. Michigan recognized the validity of more than 300 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples and those marriages. Arkansas recognized the more than 500 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples there,[56] and the federal government had not taken a position on Arkansas's marriage licenses.
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