LGBT rights in Texas

Toyota Moves To Texas: Are Its LGBT Employees Doomed To Lose Benefits? [UPDATED]

This week, Toyota announced plans to pack up its corporate headquarters in Torrance, California — its U.S. base of operations since 1956 — and move to Plano, Texas. The shift could prove a smart one for Toyota, but how will its LGBT employees fare in the Lone Star State?

Panorama of Paris, featuring the Pont des Arts (bridge of arts) and just behind, the pont Neuf (new bridge) and the île de la Cité. The institut de France (french institute) stands on the right, at the end of the pont des arts. The towers of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral can also be seen on the far behind. (Photo by Benh LIEU SONG)

Homophobic Uber Cab Driver In Gay Paris Gets Le Boot

Paris is a city of contrasts. On the one hand, it’s the magnificent City of Light. On the other, locals eat mayonnaise on their fries. (Which they refuse to call “French fries”, even though you’d think it would be a source of national pride. Then again, they don’t call their frites “freedom fries” either, so maybe it’s a draw.)

Ford logo

Ford Continues Support Of Homophobic St. Patrick’s Day Parade, While Guinness, Heineken Pull Out

It’s St. Patrick’s Day — a day of shamrocks, green beer, and, depending on where you live, a heaping helping of homophobia.

Taxi

LGBT News: Chicago Cabbies Vow To Out Aldermen, Chrysler Crusades Against Bullying

We’re following two LGBT-related news items today — one of them odd, the other, just awesome. Just for kicks, let’s start with the odd.

Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One’s Leading Homophobe, Bernie Ecclestone, Completely Agrees With Russia’s Anti-LGBT Laws

Formula One racing CEO Bernie Ecclestone has told CNN that he’s totally in favor of Russia’s new laws prohibiting LGBT “propaganda” (whatever that means).

Screencap from Erin Davies' FAGBUG NATION documentary

“Fagbug Nation” Documentary Coming Soon! (Until Then, Enjoy This Trailer)

When last we heard from Erin Davies, she and the Volkswagen New Beetle dubbed the “Fagbug” were doing just fine.

As you might recall, that Beetle was just a plain ol’ Beetle until 2007 when — on the morning of GLSEN’s annual Day of Silence — Erin walked out to her car in Albany, New York and saw that it had been spray-painted with the words “fag” and “u r gay”. Some people might’ve been demoralized by that double-whammy of homophobia and poor spelling skills, but not Erin: she transformed her car into a rainbow-striped LGBT-friendly beacon, emblazoned with the word “FAGBUG” on both sides.

Roger Moore as James Bond astride a Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus Apologizes For Tweeting Its Support Of LGBT Rights

As the Winter Olympic games began in Sochi last week, British sports car manufacturer Lotus did something unexpected: the social media team for its Formula One racing division sent out a tweet offering its best wishes to all Olympic competitors, accompanied by a photo of two men kissing. This was presumably in response to the spate of appalling (and appallingly vague) laws recently passed in Russia to restrict the rights of LGBT citizens.

LGBT-inclusive ad for the Chevrolet Traverse (debuted during the Sochi Winter Olympics)

BREAKING: Chevrolet Debuts Two Pro-LGBT Clips As Russia’s Winter Olympics Begin

LGBT-inclusive ad for the Chevrolet Traverse (debuted during the Sochi Winter Olympics)Chevrolet has just debuted two new ads — one for the Chevy Traverse, one for Chevrolet the brand. They feature images of LGBT families and same-sex marriages, accompanied by voiceovers that say things like, “[W]hile what it means to be a family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like has.”

HRC Corporate Equality Index 2014

Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, VW Ace HRC’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index

The war is far from won, but there’s no denying that 2013 has been a banner year for LGBT Americans and our many, many allies. In legislatures, city councils, courtrooms, and board rooms, people on both sides of the political divide have acknowledged that LGBT rights are simply human rights: the right to love who we want, the right to equal benefits under the law, the right to walk down our city streets without fear of harassment.

LGBT map of Russia

LGBT Activist: Volkswagen Refuses To Condemn Russia’s Homophobic Laws Because It’s Afraid Of Hurting Sales

Over the past couple of years, Russia has enacted laws to silence “LGBT propaganda”, and it’s justified such legislation with flawed sociological studies. Unfortunately, these laws are written so vaguely that no one really knows what counts as “propaganda”. President Putin says that there is no discrimination against Russia’s LGBT citizens, but can they hold hands in public? Can they kiss? Can they declare their love in any way, or is that breaking the law?