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NY, San Francisco, other U.S. cities celebrate gay pride

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, 25 June 2018 02:14 PM

Man in bathing suit rollerblading near people walking with banner reading: “Heritage of Pride: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender New York City” (Image grabbed from Reuters video)

 

Supporters of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) rights took to the streets of San Francisco, New York, Minneapolis, and Seattle to celebrate Pride on Sunday (June 24).

The festivities included massive floats, musical performances, and dancing.

“This is the greatest thing on the East Coast. There’s nothing like Pride,” Holly Wright who traveled with her girlfriend from Savannah, Georgia to attend New York’s Pride parade.

In San Francisco, a large pink triangle was positioned on a hill overlooking the city. Nazis used the symbol to both distinguish and shame gays and lesbians. In recent years, the LGBT community has embraced the triangle decidedly inverting it, as a symbol of pride and not the marker of a shame it was intended as.

Many parade-goers said they relished the inclusiveness of Pride events.

June has been a challenging month for some in the LGBT community with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, saying the decision was unlikely to have a sweeping legal impact.

The refusal by baker Jack Phillips in 2012 to make a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig became a cultural flashpoint, seen as part of a conservative Christian backlash to the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing gay marriage.

The nation’s highest court said the baker’s religious rights were violated when a state Civil Rights Commission decided he had broken Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

President Donald Trump’s administration intervened in support of the baker. — Reuters

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Google to spend $1 billion on new campus in New York

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:01 AM

 

GOOGLE SIGN | REUTERS

Alphabet Inc’s Google is investing more than $1 billion (USD) on a new campus in New York, becoming the second major technology company after Amazon to pick America’s financial capital to expand and create thousands of jobs.

The 1.7 million square-foot campus, called Google Hudson Square, will include leased properties at Hudson Street and Washington Street, the company said in a blog post on Monday (December 17).

Google hopes to start moving into the buildings beginning in 2020 and plans to double its New York headcount to 14,000 in the next 10 years.

“What firms need to do is go where people want to work, where they can get the talent and New York is one of those cities that has sort of proved itself as being able to attract young, tech, millennial type talent,” said Peter Muoio, executive vice president and head of research at Ten-X Commercial, the nation’s largest online platform where commercial real estate is bought and sold.

Google plans to invest outside its home base mirror those of other U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc., which said last week it would spend $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas.

Last month, Amazon.com Inc said it would open offices in New York and the Washington, D.C., area, creating more than 25,000 jobs.

“I think what really drives these decisions is the lack of enough workers to fill their needs just in Silicon Valley. And so I think what Amazon is doing and what Apple’s doing in Austin and what Google just announced in New York are just all manifestations of their need for a more diversified and broader workforce than what they can get in Silicon Valley,” Muoio said.

Google’s first New York office at 111 Eighth Avenue is one of the city’s largest buildings that it bought in 2010 for $1.77 billion.

Earlier this year, the company announced a $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market. It also has leased space on Pier 57 jutting into the Hudson, which will create a four-block campus. — Reuters

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LGBT+ activists in Thailand call for better marriage rights

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 30 November 2018 09:21 AM

 

 

LGBT + rights activists protesting in Bangkok, Thailand | REUTERS

Around 100 LGBT+ activists gathered in Bangkok on Thursday (November 29) to express concerns over discrimination in a law which will recognize “life partnership” between LGBT+ couples, marching in colorful costumes from Chulalongkorn University to outside a shopping mall in central Bangkok.

The demonstration also marked the 10th anniversary since Thai authorities officially started recognizing LGBT+ orientations as ‘diverse genders’. Before this, the official position deemed LGBT+ people mentally ill.

Thailand could become the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex couples under a bill that would allow civil partnerships, but campaigners say it fails to address some major concerns of LGBT+ people.

Public consultations on the bill were held earlier this month and a revised version will go to the cabinet for approval by the end of the year, said a senior official at the government department handling the bill. It gives same-sex couples the right to register unions, as well as to property and inheritance, but does not recognize marriage between same-sex partners.

A largely conservative Buddhist society, Thailand has nonetheless built a reputation as a place with a relaxed attitude toward gender and sexual diversity. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1956, and authorities actively promote the country as an LGBT-friendly destination.

A survey of social attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity found two-thirds of respondents had no objection to same-sex unions, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Yet LGBT+ people face considerable discrimination and stigma, and the civil partnership bill stops short of granting key rights, say activists. — Reuters

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Google workers walk out to protest office harassment, inequality

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 2 November 2018 11:10 AM

 

Aerial of employees walking out of Google | REUTERS

Hundreds of Google employees and contractors in New York and Washington, D.C. staged brief midday walkouts on Thursday, (November 1) with more expected to follow at offices worldwide, amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplace.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the organizers called on Google parent Alphabet Inc to add an employee representative to its board of directors and internally share pay-equity data. They also asked for changes to Google’s human resources practices intended to make bringing harassment claims a fairer process.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement that “employees have raised constructive ideas” and that the company was “taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”

The workers who filed out of its New York headquarters shortly after 1100 local time were hoping for “real change” and to be treated equally. — Reuters

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